A scheming couple put a struggling family man and his old friend through a series of increasingly twisted dares over the course of an evening at a local bar. (IMDB)
Writers: David Chirchirillo, Trent Haaga
Director: E.L. Katz
Stars: Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, Sara Paxton
Run time/Rating: 88 Minutes/ NR
Popcorn Score: Medium Popcorn with Butter
Cheap Thrills requires a little bit of patience to start and then once it picks up it requires a warped mind to enjoy. Thankfully, everything that you see is happening on screen however it all seems just real enough that you could see yourself in these situations. How far would you go? Cheap Thrills forces that question upon you!
We follow Craig and Vince over the course of just 24hrs. Two estranged high school acquaintances in a one arc plot line. The two run into each other in a seedy bar at the end of a day where Craig has received both an eviction letter and his walking papers. They connect briefly before being encountered by Violet and Colin who start out fun partiers who create little challenges for the two old friends to compete for money. What starts as who can drink the tequila shot first, or shoot a dart through the face of Benjamin Franklin, escalates as the party and the movie moves on to Violet’s house.
A dark thriller, certainly not a dark comedy as it was sometimes labeled, Cheap Thrills does have moments where the thick tension is alleviated with some humor. Provided by Anchorman’s David Koechner primarily, but otherwise very great and honest performances by everyone else don’t quite keep the movie light, but give it the touch of levity it needs to change the pace.
Cheap Thrills is not going to be for everyone. I am generally unfazed by what I can watch but this occasionally reached the edge of my limitations both physically and psychologically. It is a very powerful movie and one that probably should, but due to its nature, will never reach the mass audiences. I recommend in the right mood, which is one of patience, and thought, you might be able to be one of the few that gets to enjoy this movie.
Medium Popcorn with Butter.