Wednesday, March 19, 2014

REVIEW: Cheap Thrills

Cheap Thrills

Pat Healy, Ethan Embry


March 21, 2014 (VOD/LIMITED)

E.L. Katz

Drafthouse Films

1 hour 27 minutes



There are some sick people in this world, in case you didn't know.  There are those who torture helpless individuals either for the sake of doing it or just to have some type of feeling come out.  With the new dark comedy "Cheap Thrills," a married couple offer two estranged friends the chance to win up to $250,000 if they obey every one of their fun "bets."  At first, it's all fun and games, like drinking a shot and stuff like that.  However, each bet gets crazier and more twisted as the dollar offer goes up.  The big problem I had with this movie is that the characters, particularly the leads played by Pat Healy and Ethan Embry, got incredibly mean spirited and quite sadistic, which is nothing like how their characters started out with.  Plus, I honestly felt that the film was too shocking and too repulsive at times, especially as a dog lover.  If you see the movie, you'll understand that last statement.

Having said all of the negative stuff, I still found "Cheap Thrills" quite entertaining.  The performances are solid, particularly from David Koechner and Sara Paxton, and the story itself is quite interesting.  In a way, it reminded me of "God Bless America" in the sense of how the entire movie was a dark and twisted satire on people and what they will do for money.  I wouldn't say you should seek this film out, because it's either something you'll love or something you'll hate.  If you love darkly comedic and insanely shocking thrillers, then chances are you'll have a ball with this.  I'm glad I saw it, but chances are that I probably won't see it again willingly.  "Cheap Thrills" is crazy, shocking, and appalling at times, but those are the things that make the film worthwhile in the end.

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