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Cheap Thrills DVD Review

Cheap ThrillsDirector: E.L. Katz

Starring: Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, Sara Paxton, David Koechner, Amander Fuller

Running Time: 88 minutes

Certificate: 15

What would you do for money? How far would you go? That’s the simple idea that CHEAP THRILLS takes and runs with. It’s an easily relatable hook and one that everybody will consider throughout the running time of this gross but wonderful film that takes a disparaging look at the human race. There are many films that have taken the basic idea of posing questions and acting them out, but few have done it with as much glee and twisted enjoyment as CHEAP THRILLS.

Pat Healy plays Craig Daniels, a man who finds himself out of a job and risking eviction. One night he stumbles across an old friend, Vince (Embry), as well as a wealthy couple (Koechner and Paxton). The couple start daring the old friends to act irresponsibly by being the first to take shots, slap a stripper’s arse, or punch a bouncer. The money gradually increases as does the absurdity of the bets. Things soon take a dark turn and the simple acts turn into degrading and despicable acts. A lot of the fun comes from seeing how far the film and the characters will go, and how far they are willing to risk their souls.

The film manages to keep on offering up surprises, and the short running time means you will hopefully be too engaged with the here and now instead of predicting what the next bet will be. Healy and Embry create a great friendship together, although making them old friends instead of best friends makes some of the betrayals and backstabbing a little less powerful than it could have been. Koechner and Paxton meanwhile, play a great antagonistic couple who are perfectly capable of holding up their hands in defiance and claiming the actions are all the fault of the protagonists themselves. It raises the question as to whether, when money’s involved, can we be held responsible?

When not making you squirm or laugh, the film does have a serious side too. We feel for the men who are manipulated by proxy, even if we can’t always excuse them. The ever increasing sense of dread and inevitability also ensures a tragic quality. In many respects, this is the ultimate party film, where you and your friends will debate as to whether you would or wouldn’t have done certain things, or how much it would have cost you to do the acts presented on screen. Nasty but fun, this is one film that hopefully Secret Cinema will be staying away from.

[usr=4]CHEAP THRILLS is released on DVD and Blu-ray from 28th July.

Luke likes many things, films and penguins being among them. He's loved films since the age of 9, when STARGATE and BATMAN FOREVER changed the landscape of modern cinema as we know it. His love of film extends to all aspects of his life, with trips abroad being planned around film locations and only buying products featured in Will Smith movies. His favourite films include SEVEN SAMURAI, PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, IN BRUGES, LONE STAR, GODZILLA, and a thousand others.

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