Cheap Thrills (2014)



Critic Consensus: Gleefully nasty and darkly hilarious, Cheap Thrills lives down to its title in the best possible way.

Movie Info

Cheap Thrills follows Craig (Pat Healy, Compliance), a struggling family man who loses his low-wage job and is threatened with eviction. In an effort to delay facing the music at home, he heads to a local bar and encounters an old friend (Ethan Embry, Empire Records). The two friends are roped into a round of drinks by a charismatic and obscenely wealthy stranger (David Koechner, Anchorman 2) along with his mysterious wife (Sara Paxton, The Inkeepers). The couple engages the two friends in a … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: David Chirchirillo, Trent Haaga
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 27, 2014
Box Office: $59.4k
Drafthouse Films - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Cheap Thrills

All Critics (89) | Top Critics (18)

There are satisfying echoes of Stephen King's sly black humour in this deliciously nasty comedy thriller.

Full Review… | June 3, 2014
Time Out
Top Critic

Strikes an astute balance between a simply engaging dark thriller and a trenchant piece of social commentary. Also it's a lot of fun.

Full Review… | August 24, 2015

Cheap Thrills lives up to its name, and like many of life's guilty pleasures, it wouldn't be a surprise if audiences wanted another helping.

Full Review… | March 4, 2015

Gird your stomach for Cheap Thrills, a bloody but enjoyably ironic horror which enters that queasy zone where Michael Haneke's Funny Games meets a reality-TV bush tucker trial.

Full Review… | September 23, 2014
Times [UK]

The film makes the most of its premise and small cast, zipping from low-budget drama to sick black comedy to gruesome thriller.

Full Review… | September 7, 2014
Under the Radar

Director EL Katz ratchets up the tension effectively as the game gets ever more sickeningly dark, but it's his cast's fine performances that keep us watching and give this far-fetched tale a degree of emotional plausibility.

Full Review… | June 15, 2014
Movie Talk

Audience Reviews for Cheap Thrills

I think that those who rated this movie particularly highly wanted to embrace a film that puts the unthinkable on film but it is purely sensationalist at its heart. Some films were just never supposed to be made.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

I know we're supposed to laugh along as the two lead characters are humiliated and debased, but I can't help but feel violated by director E.L. Katz as the film delves into the twisted and depraved.

Eddie Chung
Eddie Chung

Super Reviewer

Cheap Thrills is a great thrill and gives the viewer a run for its money (no pun intended). With $250k up for grab, it's up to Pat Healy and Ethan Embry's characters to battle it out, bet for bet, to see who takes home more cash by the end of a crazy night. Sara Paxton and David Koechner play the convincing eccentric married couple who are literally getting their cheap thrills through the other two. I like the four person cast. It keeps things focused and localized and on point. As each bet gets wilder and more dangerous, more money is on the line. Things start out innocently enough before the tide turns half way through the movie to violence and sadistic pranks.

It's really dark humor for a film about a man who is married looking to support a wife and child after getting fired from his already low-paying job going against a former high school friend who is a borderline criminal.

Big blockbusters don't always hold the sway of the audience compared to complete films like these independents do. At a quick hour and 20 minutes, Cheap Thrills gets you from point A to point B in a fun, slightly disturbing, romp over the course of one night to see who wins the grand prize.

Lane Zieben
Lane Zieben

Super Reviewer

Cheap Thrills Quotes

– Submitted by Charlie G (15 months ago)

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