Director: E.L. Katz
Writer: David Chirchirillo, Trent Haaga (Screenplay)
Starring: Pat Healy, Sara Paxton, Ethan Embry, David Koechner, Amanda Fuller, Laura Covelli, Todd Farmer
Plot: A scheming couple put a struggling family man and his old friend through a series of increasingly twisted dares over the course of an evening at a local bar.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: How Far Would You Go?
Story: Cheap Thrills starts by introducing us to one of our protagonist Craig (Healy) a man running low on money who is trying to keep his wife and baby happy with a roof over their heads. When his day doesn’t go as planned he loses his job he goes for a couple of drinks and has a chance meeting with an old friend Vince (Embry). The two have a catch up before joining couple Colin (Koechner) and Violet (Paxton) who flash around their money which leads to the start of a daring game for the money between the friends.
The game starts out harmless with dares to drink a shot first or slap a striper ass all seems like harmless fun. When the four ends up back and Craig and Violet’s apartment the games get upped to the next level. The two friends discover the couple have a planned to find two people desperate for money that they can make do anything for money for entertainment.
Cheap Thrills offers up the sort of question I love to see in films, how far would you go for the money? This is ultimately the point in this film the story really doesn’t push us to any limits past that, but it does have it deeper moments when you look at the different paths the two men who start off a friends have taken. The film only focuses on the four people which lets us develop them and seeing how far things go and with a shock ending which will stun this is a solid little story. (7/10)
Pat Healy: Craig Daniels family man who is struggling with his money who loses his job and tries to drown is pain in some drinks, where he meets an old friend before finding a couple that make him an offer he can’t refuses for a little extra money. Pat does a good job as the desperate man. (7/10)
Sara Paxton: Violet it is her birthday that the couple are celebrating with their dare game for the old friends. She comes off quiet but she is really just like her husband. Sara does a solid job but with her character sometimes falling into the background I feel we could have seen more from her. (6/10)
Ethan Embry: Vince the old friend of Craig’s who is more into the idea of the game and shows the difference between the two friends. Ethan does a good job as the more streetwise of the two friends. (7/10)
David Koechner: Colin the ring leader of the game who keeps things fresh with each of his twisted ideas. David does a good job with his strong charisma. (7/10)
Support Cast: Cheap Thrills doesn’t really have too many supporting characters we have a couple of opening scenes in a bar and strip club along with Craig’s wife who really don’t offer anything to what they do.
Director Review: E.L. Katz – He does a good job creating an interesting question film that goes in a few different directions. (7/10)
Comedy: Cheap Thrills has a few laughs but isn’t laugh out loud funny. (4/10)
Thriller: Cheap Thrills starts of slowly with its thrills before getting intense when things take a slightly different direction when we learn how much is up for grabs. (7/10)
Settings: Cheap Thrills uses very few settings and they are used well because the bar shows them and where they are in life, while the house shows how money can change everything they have done. (10/10)
Suggestion: Cheap Thrills is worth giving a go, it is interesting and shows how far people could go. (Try It)
Best Part: The Finger scene.
Worst Part: The Dog Scene
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: It could
Post Credits Scene: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes
Tagline: What doesn’t kill you makes you richer.
Overall: Money Talks to the Desperate