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Cheap Thrills 2014

NR CC

A recently fired father facing eviction agrees to take on an escalating series of insane challenges in exchange for cash payments from a rich couple with a twisted sense of humor.

Starring:
Pat Healy, Sara Paxton
Runtime:
1 hour, 27 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Horror
Director E.L. Katz
Starring Pat Healy, Sara Paxton
Supporting actors Ethan Embry, David Koechner, Amanda Fuller, Laura Covelli, Todd Farmer, Elissa Dowling, Eric Neil Gutierrez, Ruben Pla, Claudia Salinas, Brighton Sharbino, Eli McLaughlin, Val Emanuel, Sam Ketcherside, Shelby Lauren, Will Leon, Danny Minnick, Sandra Valladares
Studio Drafthouse Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
This movie is about as crazy as a film can get! Honestly, you never know what is going to happen next. The movie runs a total of 88 minutes,...NOT 37 minutes as Amazon lists. I'm pretty sure there was a short film by the same name some time ago and maybe the listing is getting that confused? Either way, when you start watching it, it seems that it only last 37 minutes, because it's constantly keeping you interested and NEVER slows down! Not only is this movie one "thrill" after the next, it's REALLY funny at times too!

The movie follows Craig (Pat Healy), a family man that is about to be evicted from his apartment. Poor Craig, he only wants the best for his wife and young child. After being fired from his job as an "oil change technician", he decides to go to the local bar and have a drink before returning home. It is there that he encounters his old high school friend, Vince (Ethan Embry). Let me just say, I dig Ethan Embry as an actor. I wish that he would get more staring roles. How he manages to pull off the role of Vince, I have no idea, but he does and he is perfect as a result.

As Craig and Vince begin to catch up over drinks, they meet a strange couple, Colin (David Koechner) and his wife, Violet (Sara Paxton). This is when the movie really begins to get interesting. After introductions, they invite Craig and Vince to play a game. Basically, they throw down a sum of money and a challenge and the first to complete the task wins.

After a few short scenes, the 4 find themselves back at one of the many homes belonging to couple. Colin continues to challenge the guys with seemingly meaningless tasks, until Violet lays down a challenge of her own.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This is either brilliantly written or badly written. I don't know because I don't know what the writers were intending. If this is a brilliant horror film with a hidden monster and a strong counter culture message, it deserves a five for having guts to carry it's message so quietly and so well. If this is actually a case of plot holes and bad writing with socially accepted traditions meant to paint in the rest of the character, it's worth a two for being lazy and relying on socially accepted clichés. I'm giving it a 3.5 (rounded to 4) to be safe. Overall it was worth the watch but I don't think I'd rewatch it any time soon.

Why do I say this might be a counter-culture messaged horror film? Spoilers ahead.

We are supposed to feel sympathetic for Craig because he has a wife and kid and is going to be evicted. When you are going to be evicted you have to miss rent for multiple months, be given multiple "you are late, please pay" warnings, and then you are given an eviction notice. He shouldn't have been shocked to see the eviction notice on his door. Also, how does the wife NOT know about the money problems? How poor is his relationship with his super important family that he couldn't have a talk about their spending habits? If things are this bad certainly there are other bills not being paid. That means lots of collection notices. Working as a mechanic is good money. He lives in a small apartment in a cheap neighborhood. How did he end up so far in the rear? Also, mechanics are always desirable. Finding more work should have been easy. Put it all together and you get a neglectful prideful/fearful man who lies to his family constantly, probably as a selfish attempt to save face at his failed writing career.
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Format: DVD
An allegory of sorts for the Occupy generation, “Cheap Thrills” endeavors to answer the age-old question of just how far you would be willing to go for a boatload of cash. Especially when you’ve just lost your job, you’re being evicted from your home, and you have a wife and toddler counting on you for support. This is the dilemma facing Craig (Pat Healy), an Average-Joe, mild-mannered urbanite who’s genuinely trying to play by the rules but who just keeps getting dumped on by a world that seems dead-set against him ever achieving his portion of the American Dream.

On the night he loses his job as a mechanic at a Southern California garage, Craig wanders into a local bar only to hook up with an old buddy of his from childhood (Ethan Embry) and an obnoxious, borderline-sadistic millionaire (David Koechner) who keeps tossing money at the two men whenever they perform impromptu, trivial tasks for him. Things turn serious, however, when Mr. Moneybags ups the ante, throwing out ever more enticing financial rewards for ever more vile and degrading stunts.

Though fairly simple and straightforward on the surface, “Cheap Thrills,“ written by Trent Haaga and David Chichirillo and directed by E.L Katz, is really a modern-day parable about greed, desperation, exploitation and the dangers of unbridled macho bravado. It portrays, in miniature, a world in which a small number of people have virtually everything in terms of wealth and power, while the vast majority wind up with virtually nothing they can call their own. Craig and Vince have so little to lose, in fact, that they are willing to go to unimaginable extremes to get at least something to keep themselves from feeling like total failures in life.
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