Cheap Thrills (2014)
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Critic Reviews for Cheap Thrills
Gird your stomach for Cheap Thrills, a bloody but enjoyably ironic horror which enters that queasy zone where Michael Haneke's Funny Games meets a reality-TV bush tucker trial.
E L Katz's film delivers exactly what the title promises. It is a very bloody, very violent fairground ride of a movie that ratchets up the tension as its two hapless anti-heroes compete desperately for money.
It's a thought-provoking ride, particularly in a post-financial crisis world where a combination of desperation and temptation can make anyone consider doing the unthinkable.
The script is smarter than the premise sounds, with writers David Chirchirillo and Trent Haaga dispensing enough information to make victims both sympathetic and despicable, the instigators charismatic and sinister.
For genre fans, Katz's film will go down as a punchy and absorbing diversion, but it's also an offer you can refuse to believe. A better film would have given you no choice.
Audience Reviews for Cheap Thrills
Craig Daniels (Pat Healy) is having a hell of a day. He's been fired on the very same day he's recieved an eviction notice on his front door. Content to drink his troubles away, Craig runs into an old friend from High School. Together they start catching up and run into a unique couple, a couple who starts offering them money simply for doing oddball things for their amusement. The duo agrees and even goes back to the couples house with them, and that's when things really start to get bizarre. I feel like I've seen something similar and far more serious before, but I can't place my finger on it. What I really liked about this film was that despite it's B-movie status, and obvious lack of quality writing, what goes down isn't as expected as you would think. A lot of it really was surprising and they do spare us the pain and torture of doing what is obvious. I also enjoyed Pat Healy as Craig, he's not the kind of character you'd expect to see in a movie like this, and he added an interesting dynamic to a cast that was otherwise pretty droll. Cheap Trills has a few funny and unexpected moments in it, and to be honest it was better than I thought it would be. It still however very much deserves it's B-movie status and reeks of inexperience.
I think that those who rated this movie particularly highly wanted to embrace a film that puts the unthinkable on film but it is purely sensationalist at its heart. Some films were just never supposed to be made.
I know we're supposed to laugh along as the two lead characters are humiliated and debased, but I can't help but feel violated by director E.L. Katz as the film delves into the twisted and depraved.
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