It’s nice to see a return of dark comedies making significant impacts in the movie industry these days. One to be on the look out for this week is the film from director E. L Katz Cheap Thrills. Starring a small but impressive cast of Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, David Koechner, and Sara Paxton the film proves what extent we would go through for a quick buck.
In the case of the main star Craig (Healy), he has lost his job and received a notice to vacate his home. Down on his luck he heads to a local bar where he meets up with an old friend Vince (Embry). After a few they are approached by an odd couple who makes a quick bet turn into a wild night of how far will someone go for money. The couple Colin and Violet (Koechner and Paxton) seem to enjoy pushing these guys to the limit and even though he is reluctant Craig has no choice but to participate.
What won’t surprise you about Cheap Thrills is the film is a load of fun mixed with a great amount of laughs. What may surprise you is the very dark turn the movie takes when the two are confronted with the idea that the game stops when the couple says so. I figured there would be blood with the clips showing bets to punch out bouncers and slapping strippers on the ass, but there is a fair amount of gore in this film as well. To be honest there are moments when Cheap Thrills walks a thin line on becoming a torture porn movie. This is very pleasing to a fan of horror and I think the sentiment will be felt by other viewers as well.
What hurts Cheap Thrills is for all that is shown to you in regards to carnage and mayhem on screen the story is lacking just tad bit. What starts as a head rush slows down unimpressively as the film progresses. The realism of the film is what keeps the viewer interested but even after the conclusion you may feel as if you missed something. It is clear what the objective of Cheap Thrills is from the start but it would have been nice to see a little bit more from the talent acquired in this film. They are all amazing actors and it would have served a little better to have more backstory on the couple or even Vince. Not that it completely takes from the movie I just felt it would have been a solid more offering. It does get repetitive watching these two morons deal out these deeds so a little bit more on character development would have been welcomed.
Cheap Thrills is a rare treat that has the ability to be enjoyed by fans of many generes. It’s humorous, gritty and unique and should be on your must watch list for 2014. Cheap thrills heads to the Movies On Demand platform of Time Warner Cable February 21st, and will get a release on in theaters and the rest of the digital platforms on March 21st.
Cheap Thrills is directed by E. L. Katz and stars Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, David Koechner, and Sara Paxton. It is being distributed courtesy of Drafthouse Films.