Director: David Guy Levy
Writer: Steffen Schlachtenhaufen
Stars: Brittany Snow, June Squibb, Jeffrey Combs, John Heard and Robin Lord Taylor
Plot: Desperate to help her ailing brother, a young woman unknowingly agrees to compete in a deadly game of “Would You Rather,” hosted by a sadistic aristocrat.
Running Time: 93 Minutes
IMDB Score: 5.7
Why I Watched It: I dragged my feet on this one but it was the plot and the cast that won me over.
Random Thoughts: The reason I dragged my feet was that I was concerned this was going to be torture porn, The posture has a razor blade against an eye, so it was a real concerned but I will say I don’t think it’s up there with Hostel but yes it’s a horror film.
What I Liked: If there was a Hall Of Fame for genre actors Jeffrey Combs would be in it and he’s the best thing about this film without him this doesn’t work. He plays a rich asshole that’s it he’s gotten board and decided he’d give to charity but the people will have to not only compete for it but also amuse him, he wants them to jump through hoops. What Combs does here is a lot of fun cause he’s the bad guy but he doesn’t play it like that, he sets up rules gives people a choice then he makes them play by the rules.
The meat of the film is the game of Would You Rather and I will say it’s the best part of the film, you not only set up the games and rules but also set up the characters and add the fact that you never know what’s coming makes it tense and weirdly fun. Also if you look at it like Jeffrey Combs is playing an evil game show host the film does kind of go to very strange places.
The game itself works pretty well cause they don’t go the Saw route and make it may to complicated they keep it simple and very brutal, you realise early on if you lose you die and that really turns up the tension and stakes. I also like how what the character’s picked had a lot to do with them as people, it also sets up what are you willing to do to someone else. It’s a very effective character study. Combs is the standout but for the most part the rest of the cast is solid, I’ll give a shout out to Sasha Grey cause I didn’t know it was her. The cast was very good for a low budget genre film.
What I Didn’t Like: The whole idea that rich people like to torture and or kill poor people is quickly becoming a go to cliche in horror films, I hope it’s not true in real life also that is pretty thin motivation, they reason they do this is because they’re rich and bored?
One problem with a movie like this is we only really see Brittany Snow’s character, she’s the only one we see before the game and we see why she’s doing it, we don’t get that with any other character which does two things one is we know she’s the lead and two we don’t get much depth on the other characters. The main flaw of the film is the lack of depth to the characters, bad things are done to and by them but we don’t really know what it means to them and we don’t know they’re stakes. Also they grow in Combs’ son played by Robin Lord Taylor and I’ll be honest I have no idea why he’s there, cut him out and the film stays the same and he gives a standard rich bad guy, Combs at least brings personality.
As the film goes along you realise this turns into a game to the death and really becomes who dies next and I have to say it goes the way you think so there’s no real surprises till a very badly done tacked on ending which really wasn’t needed. Also the thing the film does is hit home a point of people will do anything to stay alive or get what they need, Snow’s character needed money and no matter what the reason we see again that a person will betray who they are and what they believe in, it’s bummer.
Final Thoughts: A decent little horror film, decent gimmick, a solid B-Movie.