Would You Rather is a 2012 horror film starring Brittany Snow as Iris – a young woman anxious to help her little brother who is in need of a lifesaving bone marrow transplant. In her desperation, Iris agrees to attend a mysterious dinner party where eight strangers will compete against each other in a bid to win a huge, cash price.
I only watched this film because it was on Netflix and I fancied a bit of fluff on Friday night and the premise sounded pretty good. In all honesty I expected something fairly cheap (but hopefully fun) and I didn’t bother reading any reviews before I watched it – the Netflix file picture of a razor blade next to someone’s eye was enough for me.
I was surprised to find out however, that some effort had been made with the storyline and characters. Perhaps a bit too much effort in fact as it was a full 30 minutes before anything really happened – except talking and looking out of windows. The writer/director clearly wanted us to care about Iris which is fine and hats off to them for effort but personally, sometimes with films like this, I don’t really see the point.
Anyway, once the fun violence started it was pretty intense in places. The gentleman hosting the party was a polite and wealthy man called Shepard Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs). With help from his associates – his odious son and an irritating butler – he tells his guests they’re playing the game ‘Would You Rather’ where players are forced to pick between two – not very nice – choices.
The usual characters are supplied in the form of other guests – a handsome and trustworthy man, a black dude, ex-military guy, a hot girl and Kevin McCallister’s dad – which was nice.
I did read some complaints after on the IMDB about a ‘lack of character development’ for these people. Really?! Does anyone really care? They need money – it’s hardly an unusual wish.
So things start, well in a fairly radical fashion actually. A nasty looking device is brought out and Shepard goes around the table asking each guest to choose “would they rather” be electrocuted or have someone else at the table electrocuted instead. Not only did this serve well on the horror aspect, but it also helped determine the characters. Some being slightly more selfless than others would rather take the pain than inflict it on another. Not everyone has that attitude though.
So time goes on and the would you rather questions get steadily worse and worse. I won’t give too much away for you folks that want to watch it but I’m sure you can imagine anyway.
And not just razor blade eye stuff either. Whips, ice picks and major arteries all make an appearance.
All in all it wasn’t a bad horror film but it could have been a lot better. A bit more tension and fear wouldn’t have gone amiss. I think the idea is more promising than the result perhaps, but I wasn’t expecting too much as it was released three years ago and I’ve never heard much buzz about it.
Still, when you consider the ‘torture’ movies that are currently free to watch on Netflix, this is definitely one of the better efforts. I’ve watched some real shit on there in the past.
The acting was pretty decent, nothing too hairy. Snow and Combs were both good. It wasn’t an overly long film at 93 minutes and the overall premise was decent. I respect the fact that some effort was made with the writing – and the ending too, which has a slight sting in the tale – though I would like to point out the subplot with the doctor was bizarre, pointless and boring.
Not the prettiest of films, aside from the blood and stuff it was very dark and drab. Maybe that was to add to the atmosphere but it just made me squint. But those bad points aside (and I guess I am splitting hairs now) it wasn’t bad at all and if you’re a card carrying member of Netflix and a fan of horror flicks then I’d have to recommend you watch it. It was entertaining on the whole but it could have done with a bit more ‘wow’ factor – fear, tension and anticipation mainly. But still this was a great idea and there’s nothing particularly dislikeable about the film, it’s just not going to make anyone’s “best movies ever” list.