Who’s the Daddy? – ★★★★
Two classic games that can provide endless fun are – “Would you rather?” and “How much?”. We had “Would You Rather” back in 2012 so now it’s the turn of “How Much” or Cheap Thrills as director E.L. Katz decided to call his first feature film.
Craig (Pat Healy) has just lost his job and faces eviction so goes to the bar instead of home to his wife and child. There he bumps into Vince (Ethan Embry), an old school buddy he hasn’t seen in 5 years and they get to reminiscing. Cue the rich couple Violet (Sara Paxton) and Colin (David Koechner) who are out celebrating Violet’s birthday. What starts out as friendly bets about getting slapped or downing shots soon escalates beyond all good taste levels.
Cheap Thrills has more going on than a simple gorey gross out flick, although there is enough here to keep Eli Roth fans happy. It raises questions about the notion of our society whereby people will happily spend months on a desert island or get buried up to their eyeballs with bugs all for money. It explores how greed or a sense of duty can warp the mind of any individual. Naturally you put yourself in their position and may find yourself constantly changing sides.
Paxton and Koechner are convincing as the mischievous couple getting their kicks by pushing other people’s buttons. The show really belongs to Healy as he is akin to Ash with the amount of abuse that befalls him. Katz knows his stuff and generates sufficient tension. It also makes a nice change to have men being on the receiving end in a horror film for once. The end is predictable but forgiven as Katz has probably created an image for posters that will adorn college room walls for many years to come. Worthy of the price of admission alone.
Released in selected cinemas on Friday the 6th of June.