Would You Rather


2012 psychological thriller

Rating: 9/20 (Abbey: 13/20)

Plot: Iris wants to help her brother get a bone marrow transplant and agrees to participate in a violent game of Would You Rather at a sadistic rich guy's house.

I don't know why I should feel the need to explain this to any of you, but I feel the need to explain why I watched this. Abbey wanted to watch a horror movie and wouldn't listen to any of my suggestions. Her friend suggested this and a couple others, and she put this on. The concept is as intriguing as anything else in this post-Saw era of torture porn, and there's some dark comedy that made it almost enjoyable. Or maybe it's just a darkly comic performance from Jeffery Combs of Re-Animator fame. Combs, as well as Jonny Coyne who plays the butler and the kid who plays Combs' son, chews scenery as ridiculously as you can imagine any actor playing this role, and after a while, you figure that it's intentional. He laughs almost constantly, jovially sadistic, and it's the kind of laugh you could imagine 1920's villains letting loose. And the fact that his name is actually Shepard Lambrick makes me laugh for some reason.

Once the little dinner party gets going, this proceeds about as you'd expect. Characters bleed, and there's an action scene that only acts as an interlude to the characters bleeding. There's a doctor character who the movie wastes a lot of time on for some reason. For the most part, characters die in the order you figure they'll die, and Combs seems to be the only person amused by the whole thing. June Squibb continues being nutty on screen, and a couple of her scenes actually made me laugh. I'm not sure that was director David Guy Levy or writer Steffan Schlachtenhaufen intended though.

This is the perfect example of a movie that isn't really all that good anyway but that is completely ruined by its ending. I think I probably groaned at this attempt to Shyamalan the denouement, the type of thing that O. Henry, if he happens to be in hell and the devil decides to have a movie night, would shake his head at and say, "That is totally not how you do it, Schlachtenhaufen." It's an ending bad enough to anger people.

How are there not 2 or 3 sequels for this yet?

1 comment:

Josh said...

I totally stumbled upon this and thought it might be one of those gems that just didn't get enough publicity. Yeah, it wasn't. Combs was the only saving grace for this thing. I was really interested in his performance -- probably because I dig the Joker and all of his incarnations and interpretations. That's what the Lambert character was to me.

It was one of those movies that should have been 45 minutes long in order to even be considered worth watching.