Saturday, October 7, 2017

Movie Review: "Would You Rather" (2012)

Director: David Guy Levy
Year: 2012
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

A group of people desperate for money are gathered at a dinner party to play a deadly game of "would you rather" with a prize that will solve their financial woes forever.

"Would You Rather" is a horror film directed by David Guy Levy and is written by Steffen Schlachtenhaufen. It stars Brittany Snow as Iris, a young woman forced to give up her college pursuits in order to take care of her ill brother. She is offered the opportunity to attend a dinner party being put on by an outrageously wealthy man named Shepard Lambrick, played by Jeffery Combs of "Re-animator" fame, who informs her the guests of this party will play a game and the winner of that game will have all their problems taken care of immediately. Unfortunately for her, Lambrick is a sadist, and that game is a deadly one where participants are asked which horrible thing will they'd rather do. Joining Snow as the other players of the game are Enver Gjokaj, John Heard, June Squibb, Eddie Steeples, Charlie Hofheimer, Robb Wells, and Sasha Grey.

If you haven't figured it out already, this is basically a torture porn horror film, kind of like a low-rent version of "Hostel" except the victims are at least partially willing participants. The hosts of the party are the most disgusting people imaginable. They are also a bit of a horror trope as wealthy people who make a sport out of torturing the poor and desperate. This can be seen in countless horror films and even in a few action movies. One of the big problems here is there isn't much of a moral to this film other than 'don't accept offers that seem too good to be true' because they probably are. One would hope the gore level would be high considering the premise of the story, right? What crazy messed up things will these sadistic rich jerks make the poor and willing do involve severed limbs and crushed skulls?! Most of the movie is relatively tame, and whenever there is a task that would make for a graphically awesome, bloody moment, the camera cuts quickly away to avoid showing the outcome. This is either because the filmmaker is too gutless, or because the budgetary restrictions didn't allow for the proper visual effects.

"Would You Rather" is one of those movies where the audience goes in expecting a lot of over the top stuff like what's seen in "Saw" or the aforementioned "Hostel," but what we wind up getting is a lot of people getting shot or stabbed with the only occasional diversion from the anticipated path. The most disgusting and unsettling things in this movie are the actions of the hosts and one of the guests. The acting is pretty awful, the worst of which comes from Sasha Grey, who is stiff and completely monotonic in her delivery. Most the others are only slightly better, but not by much. We also called the ending completely. This movie is kind of a mess and fails to do anything new with the material.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 57%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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