on July 4, 2015
Well, Would You Rather was one of the most discomforting movies I've had the pleasure of seeing.
I have watched intensely gory movies, films with the express purpose of disgusting the viewer or making them physically ill, and essentially every horror flick I could get my hands on from a young age on...but this movie was deeply unsettling.
At its core, it's a story of human nature and kin selection, forcing the viewer to question just how far we might go for those we love...but it's so much more than that too.
The cast was fantastic. Jeffrey Combs is fantastic in his role as the sadistic (presumable) billionaire hosting the events of the evening, but I have always loved Combs as an actor. Brittany Snow is heartbreaking as the protagonist, desperate to do whatever it takes to save her dying brother. Seeing Robb Wells in a role outside of Trailer Park Boys was satisfying, as was seeing Robin Lord Taylor outside of his role as Penguin on Gotham. Sasha Grey continues to show that she has made a successful transition from adult movies, though her role in this movie was a fairly small one, and far from sympathetic.
I doubt I'll watch this movie a second time, not because it was bad, but because it will stick with me well enough that I don't need to witness it again...but I am quite glad that I did finally watch it.
on February 15, 2013
I know this is by no means a perfect movie, but I truly loved it. Jeffrey Combs performance was fantastic and I really liked the story. There were really no surprises, but the casting and the dialog kept the movie interesting for me. The "choices" idea that runs through the movie caused for a lot of tension, but I feel that it could have been exploited a bit more. Most of the gore in this film is what plays in your head, because most of those shots cut-away. I found this very effective and was tense through most of the movie. I do want to say I feel a little guilty in liking this so much because there is a definite cruelty to the violence. Having said that, I felt that it was a compelling, tense, film that managed to entertain. I'm already wishing there was a sequel.
on May 25, 2013
Few movies today are brave enough to address social issues from anything other than a propagandist position. Of course, they do this because our government actually awards money to those willing to be it's mouthpiece. It's an interesting fact worth looking into, to be sure. What this leaves us with though, is very little art or cinema that actually addresses the reality of most people's lives without patronizing or proselytizing to them. Independent films like Would You Rather, therefore, are on a whole other level than your typical, toothless Hollywood fare. There are few big-name actors (save Sasha Grey, Jeff combs and John Heard). Therefore, most audiences that seek the familiarity of their favorite personalities will be disappointed. Those actually looking for thought-provoking storyline and decent acting however, may be pleasantly surprised. The film's protagonist, played by newcomer Britney Snow, is a woman named Iris who happens to be in the difficult position of having to look after her cancer-stricken brother. Left somewhat over-awed by the other main character, Shepard Lambrick's offer to alleviate all her difficulties through a very strange and somewhat ominous invitation to dinner, naturally she accepts (no spoilers here). What ensues from herein however, is a truly interesting, complex and frequently uncomfortable look at the nature of human impulse. It is this, I believe, in addition to the lack of "star-power" that is probably most accountable for the film's poor reception. Being forced to look at ourselves with such raw and unflinching honesty isn't really what sells, these days. There are no feel-good platitudes in Would You Rather. Only barren glimpses of a desolate landscape of the state of human compassion as it stands in today's America. That said, WTR isn't as graphic as Saw or any of the other so-called "torture porn" genre films. Of course, putting it in the same category as your typical slasher flick seems blatantly unfair given the casts' better-than-decent portrayals and the film's overall seamless execution. And for those of you who came here for the same reason as most undoubtedly will - yes, Jeffrey Combs' stark and immaculately disturbing portrayal of the main villain Shepherd Lambrick is as memorable and engrossing as we've come to expect from this incredible actor. Surprisingly deep and markedly, un-chinzy this film is certainly worth your 93 minutes. Those of you possessed of deeper-thought-processes be warned however, this film may linger on with you for much longer than that afterwards...
on February 16, 2013
Iris (Brittany Snow) has a brother who needs a bone marrow transplant. The creepy Shepard Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs) offers to pay for it if she wins a game of a sadistic "would you rather," one that we quickly discover is played to the death. 8 people are assembled in a dining room and forced at gun point. Since Iris is the only person we know anything about, everyone but Scooby-Doo can figure this one out.
Amy, played by porn star Sasha Grey, is an aggressive player who immediately plays to win. Shepard has an obnoxious son (Robin Taylor) who insults the players.
There is a fairly decent intensity factor with this film, but it really doesn't stimulate the grey matter. The whole set up is rather inane. If you like the "ten little Indians" style movies with slasher elements, this one is satisfactory as long as you keep your expectations low. Perhaps 5 stars on a Red Box rental scale.
If you liked this film you might also like "Truth or Die" which I thought was superior.
Parental Guide: F-bomb, no sex or nudity. Attempted rape. Not an abundance of violence to women considering the plot.
on September 17, 2014
Forget the mainstream critics reviews.This movie will mostly be enjoyable to horror fans. Not to bash the critics, but don't they read the movie description before watching, like: "She arrives to find herself ... forced to play a sadistic game of Would You Rather, where only the winner will get out alive." That line should either turn them off completely, or at least force them to review it from a fan's perspective.
The movie has a great premise AND original story with fine acting to boot (rare in a B-movie). Budget limits are effectively managed so that you barely notice the low budget impact. In fact, because some of the more horrific scenes are not shown they are more cringe-worthy as your mind gets to fill in the details.
But the standout is Jeffrey Combs of Reanimator/From Beyond fame that plays the host of the WORST DINNER PARTY GAME EVER! He balances his sociopathic morality with a genteel propriety that makes his character stand out from the disposable extras.
The twist ending is predictable and you wish the more dastardly character deaths were more horrific, but overall it is a very entertaining horror flick. The late, excellent Roger Ebert, would hate this movie, but I would never use his review for a horror movie. The average soul just wants to be entertained, and this flick, if you can handle a razor blade near the eye, does just that.
on September 26, 2015
A really good independent Horror film is worth it's weight in gold. Finding that diamond in the rough makes the hours of sitting through low budget garbage, well worth it. For me, Would You Rather is that diamond, as it is one of the most imaginative Horror films to come along in years. Shepard Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs) is an eccentric millionaire, who wants to help people that are down on their luck, except there's a catch. With a large sum of money at stake, Lambrick invites several down on their luck people to his mansion, where they must play a game in order to win, a deviously twisted game. Would you rather stab yourself or a complete stranger? Would you rather take a razor blade to your eyeball or cut off your own finger? These are some of the challenges involved in this game, which sees the winner go home rich and the losers in worse shape then when they started. Jeffrey Combs of Star Trek fame stars and was absolutely the perfect choice to play the sadistic millionaire. In all his roles he has this crazy twisted side, behind the mask of a very likeable guy. In this film he is paired with the beautiful Brittany Snow, who is there to help her sick brother. As it turns out, she is the logical one, who tries to match wits with Lambrick, making for some terrific dialogue. Would You Rather is creepy and graphic, just when you think you have it all figured out, the story takes a twist, and you're back into the satanic paradise. This film is everything I look for in Horror and will definitely be included in my 2015 Halloween Horrorfest, and it should absolutely be considered for yours.
on December 2, 2015
Honestly it isn't a Saw knock-off, the twist is more of a 'be careful what you wish for' and 'the things you do for the ones you love'. The pacing seems jerky and a little hesitant but I believe it was intentional after further review of the movie. I give lots of props to the actors for their performances. I would watch it again because it isn't over the top with gore.
on March 18, 2013
I had low expectations for this movie but I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was done really well. I also disagree with comments I read saying the ending was predictable because I did not see it coming. Definitely worth the rental
on September 5, 2013
This film had a great cast, and it was nice to see the father from the original Home Alone movies pop up! Brittany Snow is a fantastic actress, so if you like her, you will enjoy this. She brings a certain charm to the screen, I think. The storyline is heartbreaking (I won't ruin the ending), and I feel as though it was the ending that let this film down. The main plot makes us root for Snow's character, however the film manages to erase the screen and place us inside the film. It is not as graphic as other films, which some people may enjoy, but it definitely makes the viewer feel uncomfortable, and very uneasy.
The psycho family bit has been done before, so that wasn't very interesting to watch, but for the most part I enjoyed this movie. Some good scenes, a lot of tension, but ultimately left me feeling ... what was the point?
on December 20, 2014
Unable to afford effective treatment for her dying, cancer-stricken younger brother, Iris (Brittany Snow) thinks she's lucked out when she's invited by the seemingly philantropic Shepherd Lambrick over to his mansion to discuss possible ways he might help. But what seems a generous offer by a concerned and compassionate man turns out to be anything but. Iris is just one of a number of individuals in very tight spots who've been invited to the dinner party to play a friendly little game of 'Would You Rather', where players are offered two choices of a task to perform. Rather than a round of good-natured fun, however, Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs) has in mind a competition where the choices include such goodies as taking an excruciating but non-lethal electric jolt from a big contraption that's wheeled in, losing a finger, stabbing the person to your left in the leg, and other such fine possibilities. The guests, all of whom had been invited under various sets of false pretences, are disbelieving, offended and naturally outraged, and try to leave. That's where the armed security come in. It seems the group is going to be forced to play through this gruesome round in search of a big cash payout, or is there some way to turn the tables?
Few movies keep a near-constant current of high tension up as effectively as this one, and, though most characters other than Iris are given little more than hints as to their backstory and circumstances, the talented cast breathes life into their characters. Jeffrey Combs is darkly quirky, oddly charismatic and silkily dangerous as Lambrick in what's probably his best performance at least since the original Re-Animator. The pitch black but sharp sense of dark humor that keeps rearing up serves to make the tension even higher. Would You Rather is yet another excellent recent movie that's gone widely unnoticed, helping to support the assertion that the supposed slight dip in the number of quality movies of late is more just an effect of so many of the best ones flying under the mainstream radar.