Would You Rather (2012)
Dir. David Guy Levy – 93 Minutes
Starring Jeffrey Combs, Brittany Snow, Eddie Steeples & Sasha Grey
Would you Rather tells the story of Iris played by Brittany Snow who is a 20 something young woman who after her parents are killed has to look after her brother who is suffering from Leukaemia and the cost of a bone marrow transplant is just out of the question. Out of the blue she gets a call to see her doctor , when she arrives her doctor is with a rather dapper gentleman named Shepard Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs) who explains he comes from a rich philanthropic family who wish to help Iris. All she needs to do is turn up at his family home the following evening where she and 7 others are invited to a dinner party and to play a game where the winner gets all the medical expenses paid for and all treatment expedited.
Iris decides to mull the invitation over but eventually realises this may be her only hope as her brother’s condition is deteriorating rapidly. She is picked up the following evening by a driver and taken to a large house where she meets the fellow guests/contestants and they sit down for a meal. Now not long after arrival things start to take a more sinister turn, firstly Iris is a vegetarian and Lambrick offers her $10,000 to eat the steak and foie gras in front of her, which she does. Then we learn another guest Conway (played by the great John Heard) is a recovering alcoholic and he is offered $50,000 to drink a decanter of scotch.
And so the games begin, a little silly if yet with sinister overtones to begin with until Lambrick starts the real game of Would you Rather where each contestant is given two options , failure to choose or refusal means the person is eliminated . The game will carry on until only one remains.
And so this is the setting for the film, not the most original of ideas but as Would you Rather is set for the majority in one room it leads to a really effective and very claustrophobic little indy horror that draws you in an is full of little twists and turns along the way that at times had me squirming in my seat.
The cast works really well together, Combs as always wonderfully overacts as the eccentric millionaire , Brittany Snow is fantastic as the main protagonist with just enough empathy and fragility to win you over. Other member include Eddie Steeples and Enver Gjokaj as the good guys , June Squibb as the disabled Linda and the fantastic Sasha Grey as the nasty Amy.
There are a few huge plot holes and some issues with scripting , but in the main Would you Rather keeps you glued to your seat watching as a seemingly innocent game descends into much much more.
This may not be the most original film of the year or indeed the best, but it is another great watch for horror fans and worth it just to see Jeffrey Combs go for it and Sasha Grey pout . Standout star (and exec producer) Brittany Snow holds the whole thing together and makes this a really impressive feature that deserves a much wider release.
Decisions decisions !! 7/10