Would you rather spend $1.20 at Redbox to rent 'Would You Rather' or save your money?
A tough choice, but not deadly like the ones in the independent horror film starring Brittany Snow, Jeffrey Combs and Sasha Grey.
A wealthy man named Shepard Lambrick invites a group of troubled adults to a dinner party with the lure of a contest that promises to solve all the winner’s problems, financial and otherwise.
Unemployed, desperate and broke, a young woman named Iris accepts the invitation because her brother is dying and needs an expensive medical procedure.
Iris joins the men and women, each struggling with their own problems, at a mysterious mansion where Lambrick proposes his version of the party game Would You Rather.
The game starts as an interesting test of Lambrick’s theory that everyone has a price. For example, he offers $10,000 to a vegetarian if she will eat all the meat on her plate.
The game quickly takes a sadistic turn when Lambrick’s butler wheels in an electrocution machine, and the guests are forced to decide who receives the shock treatment.
The game’s choices are more deadly as each round progresses with some guests surviving and some dying.
Character development is minimal. Filmmakers only provide background for Iris, mostly brief scenes of interaction with her brother. The other guests are not only strangers to Iris but to the film's audience as well.
The doctor who sets up the meeting between Iris and Lambrick adds a subplot to the story, but the focus is the game.
Snow (‘Prom Night,’ ‘Pitch Perfect’) plays Iris with tearful conviction, and veteran actor Combs is fun to watch as the diabolical Lambrick.
The final round of the game poses an intriguing dilemma, prompting viewers to question what they would do in the situation.
‘Would You Rather’ is no-frills horror, clocking in at an efficient 93 minutes and set almost exclusively in a dining room. The gore quotient is low, and the film relies on escalating tension.
While not for mainstream audiences, fans of independent horror may appreciate the effort.
At least the choice to rent it is not a life-or-death decision.