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In this horror movie, the main character is kidnapped by a man who forces him to play chess against him. He proves to be quite a good player. For their final game, the kidnapper and the main character play a giant version of chess where dead bodies are used as the pieces, revealing that this man kills those who lose against him. During this match, he sees the ghosts of previous victims giving him hints on how to play. I think he either wins and is released or escapes by some other means, though I'm not sure about that part.

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5150 Elm's Way (2009)?

The whole "kidnapped, forced to win chess to earn his freedom" thing matches nicely, but I cannot confirm the final game is visited by ghosts. In fact the movie does not appear to be sci-fi horror, just mundane horror (but per meta, an on-topic question with an off-topic answer is valid).

From Wikipedia:

Elm's Way is a calm street in a small town. When Yannick falls from his bike, he knocks on the door of the Beaulieu residence, to call a cab home. Entering the house, Yannick hears a man screaming upstairs. When he finally encounters the source of the screams he realizes that Beaulieu has wounded the man and was holding him hostage. Beaulieu then locks down Yannick in fear of him calling the police. Over time he learns Beaulieu is a righteous psychopath and fanatical chess player who kills drug-dealers, pedophiles and other bad people for a better world.
[...]
As he has done nothing wrong, Beaulieu doesn't want to kill Yannick and eventually agrees to let him go if he wins a game of chess against him, Beaulieu having never lost a game in his life so far. They play chess constantly, but Yannick never wins, though he rattles Beaulieu by once managing a draw.
[...]
In the final showdown the two play a chess game in the cellar, where Beaulieu has conserved all of his victims and placed them as pieces on a giant chessboard.


Found with the Google query horror movie kidnapped play chess game bodies site:imdb.com/title.

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  • a nice, classy version of lmgtfy.com lol
    – TCooper
    Oct 1, 2021 at 0:01
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    @TCooper no, the point is not to be sarcastic. Including the Google query which lead to a successful identification serves two purposes: it may greatly help people wanting to hone their skills in story-id searching (it did for me :) ), by providing instances of what works and how one can think of better synonyms/wildcard use/learn about dedicated sites, etc; and second, if the winning word set worked for me, it might also help future people Googling a similar set in their search, as these very words will be included in my answer and therefore indexed by search engines.
    – Jenayah
    Oct 1, 2021 at 5:18
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    I wouldn't say being nice and classy == sarcastic, I meant that's the biggest difference - like what you've done is useful where lmgtfy isn't. I appreciate the inclusion very much, sorry if my comment came off the wrong way / I see where the comparison wouldn't be welcomed.
    – TCooper
    Oct 1, 2021 at 19:25
  • @TCooper no worries, I wasn't sure what you meant and figured further explanation wouldn't be lost anyways. No hard feelings, glad we're on the same page :)
    – Jenayah
    Oct 2, 2021 at 6:19
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    Yep, it is 5150 Elm's Way. However, there is actually a scene where the main character is visited by what look like ghosts. I found the movie on Youtube. At the 1:41:46 mark of, two women stand by Yannick's side and tell him what will happen if the antagonist makes a certain move. In the next shot, neither of them are present, although I suppose it's probably just Yannick's imagination, rather than ghosts.
    – user73910
    Oct 7, 2021 at 6:41

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