- Anti-Climax Boss: Ewan, and subsequently, Ian.
- Complete Monster:
- Ian Breckel is a morally bankrupt TV producer who recruits death row inmates to film them mutilate and fight each other to the death and broadcast it over the internet as a reality show. He orchestrated the whole thing, gave weapons to the psychopath McStarley, and obviously placed less value on human life than entertainment and money. During the sickening rape scene of Paco's wife by McStarley, his only expressed concern to his crew is to zoom in to "give the viewers what they want". He shows himself to have absolutely no standards or lines he wouldn't cross, eventually murdering another producer himself when the guy objects to what they're doing. As well, he remains incredibly smug throughout the whole situation.
- Ewan McStarley is a Sociopathic Soldier who was on death row for burning down a village and raping/torturing/murdering its inhabitants. When he's placed in a death match on the island, he happily agrees with the producer to "put on a good show" by doing his usual thing for an audience. He initially teams up with another contestant named Saiga, with whom he attacks Paco and breaks his knee, chains him up, and forces him to watch McStarley beat, rape, stab, and blow up his wife. Then he tracks down the wounded Paco, brutally beats him with Saiga's help, shoots him with an arrow as he lies helpless, then sets him on fire. When all other competition is dead, he turns on the camera crew filming him, and kills them to steal their weapons. As if that weren't enough, near the end of the movie, he machine-guns the crew of the show except Breckel, who escapes the slaughter.
- Don't Shoot the Message: Production company hypocrisy and character's sneering aside, Ian's answer against the reporter's Think of the Children! (that people, not broadcasters, should be more vigilant of what kids watch, especially if it's something more controllable by the parents like pay-per-view events) is somewhat accurate.
- Dude, Not Funny!: The In-Universe crossing of the Moral Event Horizon for Brecket is asking for the crew to film Rosa's rape and then murder. After that, none of the recording crew make any jokes about the situation at hand (and some even want Jack to win, if nothing else because he's not McStarley).
- Harsher in Hindsight: Goldman at one point claims that he would feel safer if the condemned were not so close to them during the games. Fast forward to the end, McStarley kills everyone in Ian's crew, excluding Ian and Julie (Goldman was killed just before that happened).
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Manu Bennett being stuck on an island filled with killers. He hadn't quite gotten the "Surviving to escape" part down yet, though.
- A double example with Bennett: this isn't the last time he did the whole gladiator thing.
- Moral Event Horizon: Ian keeps on crossing the line like no tomorrow.
- Narm: McStarley kills everyone in Ian's crew with a machine gun while screaming A God Am I and calling them bastards for enjoying the game: somewhat scary. Having Prodigy's "Firestarter" playing as background music as it happens: not so much. The Film Brain review of the movie even had Mathew Buck rolling his eyes when he got to this part.
- Strawman Has a Point: It's hard to scorn Ian when he discusses the Think of the Children! trope to an interviewer and states his opinion against it;
Ian: Look, Donna, we, as entertainers... cannot tailor-make everything we do for children. It's the parents' responsibility to monitor what their kids watch.
Donna: That's a cop-out, Ian, and you know it. You have to take some responsibility.
Ian: Donna, I'm not forcing anybody to log on and tune in. I create shows people like to watch. I didn't create the demand. People like to watch violence. They always have. Probably always will.
- Tear Jerker: Everything involving Paco and Rosa. They're, along with Jack, the ones that don't care about the game at all, and both only cared about being together while waiting for their eventual death. So, seeing Rosa being raped and eventually killed by McStarley and Saiga while Paco is Forced to Watch, and later Paco being tortured for hours by the same guys that killed his wife before being killed in cold blood, is really sad.
- The Woobie: Paco and Rosa, big time. Technically they are in Jerkass Woobie territory (they are hard-core criminals in death row), but what happens to them is so much beyond horrifying (In-Universe and out) that it's impossible to use the Asshole Victim card.