Hey gang, Valkor here. And I'm checking in with the second part of my traditional party games to film review. So, to all my fellow TOVers – especially the men, but hey whatever floats your boat. Would you rather… have sex with Lady GaGa after she's been soaking in mayonnaise and bleu cheese dressing for ten hours, in 100 degree temps. OR have sex with Paris Hilton, no condom, and she's just had a train of college guys and their chubby mascot run a train her? Oh and one of the dudes has an STD! What would you do hot shot? What would you do? Now there's a film based on the game, "Would You Rather", and much like it's name sake, the players are given choices with deadly consequences.
"Would You Rather" centers on Iris (Brittany Snow), an out of work, fresh out of college student who's moved back home after the death of her parents; she not only struggles to deal with the debt they've left behind, but she also has to care her terminally ill brother who is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. Thankfully (or regrettably) a solution is offered to help aid Iris and her brother for the long term. A rich man by the name of Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs) offers to give Iris the money she needs plus move her brother to the top of the transplant list. And the catch? She'll have to compete with seven others, each with their own set of problems in need of financial assist, in a game of "would you rather". It's not as simple as answering a series of multiple choice question. No, these contestants must partake in physical challenges, all of Lambrick's choosing. It starts out rather timid asking Iris, who is a vegetarian, to eat meat for 10,000 bucks. But things escalate to electrocution, stabbings, beatings, etc. In the end, only one shall stand and the rest… well, I think you have an idea of what happens.
So if given the option of playing a game where you might die, but if you win you get a shitload of money. Or would you rather walk away from it all, having to face your problems with no assists what so ever? In the immortal words of Ted DiBiase aka The Million Dollar Man "Everybody has a price".
Would You Rather isn't as gruesome as Vile or as suspenseful as Truth or Die, but it is disturbing, violent, and very entertaining. The story is pretty straightforward with no crazy twists, keeping the focus on the game and the ever escalating torments. There's nothing truly grisly as you won't see much gore, but the film plays out more like Vile where the less you see, the more effective is it. So while you won't see people get gutted or sexual organs eviscerated, what you do see is equally cringe worthy. The pacing is smooth with a run time of 90 plus minutes and there's little to no character backstory; you'll learn about each character as the film plays out, without having to go into too much detail. The events that unfold in the film are done for one man's amusement and huge props needs to be given to Jeffrey Combs for playing eccentric Lambrick. The dude is sinister and twisted right up till the end; you can tell he was having waaaaay too much fun playing his role. His final words "Not even a thank you?" Priceless! Everyone else's performances are well done and I was quite surprised by the appearance of Sasha Gray (taking the Traci Lords way out eh?). Overall, Would You Rather is on sadistic, yet enjoyable journey into the dark depths of teh human psyche.
The film isn't exactly perfect. For one, it's way too predictable. This stems from the fact that given the choices the players have, either the one being given the choice is gonna the die or someone else involved with the question kicks it. So there are no real surprises there. And of course you know who'll win in the end. Oh and that final ending? Ugh! Totally unnecessary.
Would you rather slice your eye open or dip your head underwater for two minutes. Youch!
"Would You Rather" has been making the limited theatrical rounds, plus you can also find the film on streaming networks such as Amazon Instant. The film has been picked up by IFC so a wider release is imminent. Keep your eyes on this one because "Would You Rather" is a film you don't wanna miss. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give the film a 4.