Tag Archives: birthday party

Would You Rather?

20 May

would-you-rather-posterTake yourself back to that college party; that birthday party; that night sat round the campfire, sitting with all of your friends, laughing and talking, while occasionally sipping on your open can of beer in the hope that it will give you just enough courage to chat to that guy or girl you’ve had a crush on for the past two years. And then some crazy character, the joker of the group, pipes up and asks, “Hey, has anyone here ever played ‘Would you rather’?”

Well this film is nothing like that. Except for the part where I mentioned the game ‘Would you rather’. Obviously.

So let me explain the basic rules. One person, often the joker who brings up the game so that they don’t have to take part, is the games master. He or she then gives the other players a number of ultimatums in which they are presented with two options, one of which they must choose. For example, would you rather drink a shot of urine or kiss a sweaty armpit? And you would have to choose. Normally these questions are purely for entertainment purposes and no-one is about to hand you a shot of their own bodily fluid, but that would be boring if a film just showed us an hour and a half of people posing funny scenarios. No danger of that here.

would you ratherWould You Rather (2012, Dir. David Guy Levy) centres around a dinner party where eight individuals have been hand-picked to take part in a game of…..ok, I don’t really need to tell you do I?….in which the winner will win a substantial amount of money and life full of opportunities. For Iris, (Brittany Snow – Pitch Perfect) this means that her brother who has leukemia will get the treatment that he so desperately needs. They are offered this opportunity through the charismatic and formidable games-master Shepard Lambrick.

Lambrick is surrounded by a mob of sharply dressed, shady individuals who help him to conduct his horrific game and eliminate any players who fail to comply. The contenders are sympathetic, desperate, cruel and delusional; trying to save others as well as themselves. The deadly rounds include shootings, stabbings, lashings, electrocution and drowning, not necessarily in that order, with eye-ball slicing and blowing up of hands thrown in for good measure. It really is a party that they wished they had missed.

Would-You-Rather 3For me, ‘Would You Rather’ poses an often familiar choice. Would I rather watch an A or B list horror? Recently it has been the latter, as I often find that quirky, imperfect and minimally advertised  films are somewhat more fascinating. I like a film packed full of special effects and fancy A-list actors as much as the next person, but the lack of pretense for a B-movie means you are able to simply enjoy the story and the characters, no matter how funny or twisted, and come out the other side feeling fresh and excited.

Levy has created a film that is well paced, intelligent and ripe with intensity. There aren’t too many decisions to be made, with rounds being clear, concise and designed to eliminate members of the group quickly, leaving the audience squirming out of disturbed joy rather than boredom. It has its clichĂ©d moments, as do most horror films, and some unfortunate lapses in acting ability, but at the end of the disgusting affair you are left with an oddly charming feeling.

So I say to you, there might be dishes piling up and vacuuming to be done, the kids might need to do their homework and the cat might need to go to the vet, but wouldn’t you rather sit down, relax and watch a movie? Well? What would you rather…

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For extra reading see my Top 30 Horror films where there are B-List movies a plenty!