Cheap Thrills (2014)
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Critic Reviews for Cheap Thrills
There are satisfying echoes of Stephen King's sly black humour in this deliciously nasty comedy thriller.
Screenwriters David Chirchirillo and Trent Haaga pose a simple question -- how much will a person degrade himself to make ends meet? -- but it's a potent one, at least for those of us who ponder it every Monday through Friday.
Let's just say it takes a dim view of human nature that seems well supported by the evidence, and that if you have an appetite for fatalistic, dirty-minded gore you won't be disappointed.
If Cheap Thrills ultimately does carry us along, it's due largely to Healy's performance and presence.
You should watch it as a twisted comedy. Those who do will be rewarded, especially by the film's outlandish final image.
To describe them would diminish their impact, but there are several occasions where it is tough to keep looking at the screen. Yet, thanks to the characters and their portrayals, you can't really look away, either.
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.
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.
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.
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