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January 23, 2014

Movie Review: Would You Rather (2012)

You know, I’ve adored Brittany Snow since I saw her debut in The Pacifier (and John Tucker Must Die, Hairspray, Pitch know, regular CHC fare). Not every film choice she’s made has been a good one (Prom Night remake, anyone?) but when this movie came out, I figured I would give it a shot, even though the idea has already been done

Would You Rather stars the always terrifically awesome Jeffrey Combs as Shepard Lambrick, a bored billionaire who likes to play with peoples lives. He finds those souls out there who are so desperate for money that they will do ANYTHING for a chance at some big bucks (degenerate gamblers, whores, family medical emergencies, etc.). 

Iris is just such a soul. Her brother has leukemia and with both parents dead, it’s up to Iris to pay the bills. Her brother’s doctor understands the hardship and introduces her to Mr. Lambrick. All she has to do it show up to a dinner party, play a game, and if she wins, she goes home with a shit ton of cash. And he and his corporation will find a donor for her brother, pay all the medical expenses, and set them up for life. How can she refuse?

And so Iris, and 7 other folks, sign up to the challenge. Lambrick gives them a chance to back out but of course, no one does. And then it’s too late. The game they have to play is Would You Rather. Each player is given a choice between two options and they have to pick one or they are eliminated (hint, they’re killed). Both options are equally nasty but there’s a lotta scratch involved here! All must play the game until only one person is left standing (literally or figuratively, depending on the choices made).

Who do you think survives the game?

Let me tell you about the good up front. If I had remembered that Mr. Combs was in this, I would have been trolling Netflix and OnDemand every day until that fucker became available. Even when he’s pigeonholed into the creepy maniac role he knocks it out of the ballpark. EVERY. DAMN. TIME. PERIOD. Brittany Snow is great at playing the vulnerable desperate good girl but when needed, she’s a tiger protecting her young. No blinking involved. The former British Intelligence torture specialist was pretty awesome, too, but more on a minimalist scale.

That said, everything else kinda sucked. The story has been done before to varying degrees (the terrible The Invitation with the wonderful Lance Henriksen springs to mind). I knew what was going to happen each step of the way. I had the characters figured out and what their actions would be within minutes of their introductions. The brutality of some of the game choices made my butt pucker and yell ‘oh, hell no’ a few times. But the ending was so fucking obvious that I knew what it would be 5 minutes into the flick. And most of the time I never figure anything out, even after the movie is over!

I’d watch it again for Jeffrey Combs’s performance, because I adore him, but otherwise, I say skip it.

1 Hatchet (out of 5)

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