cheap thrills

Cheap Thrills (2014): What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Richer

Do you ever spend half of your night just looking for a horror movie to watch? The other night, my friend and I were browsing through Netflix, trying to find something worthwhile and nothing was sparking our interests – that is until we came across Cheap Thrills. We didn’t know much about it beyond the quick synopsis, but we decided to give it a go and hoped it would provide exactly what the title insinuated. 

Cheap Thrills is a horror comedy directed by  E.L. Katz and written by David Chirchirillo and Trent Haaga. The film was released in March 2014 and made close to $60 million at the box-office, which isn’t a great amount considering its budget. However, I don’t think the film is at fault for that. Up until Netflix released this film, I had never heard of Cheap Thrills despite its fun storyline with a talented cast including Pat Healy (Compliance), Sara Paxton (The Innkeepers), Ethan Embry (The Devil’s Candy), David Koechner (Anchorman), and Amanda Fuller (Last Man Standing).

“A scheming couple, Violet (Paxton) and Colin (Koechner), put a struggling family man named Craig (Healy) and his old friend Vince (Embry) through a series of increasingly twisted dares over the course of an evening after meeting at a bar.”

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This isn’t the first story line where rich people have used others for cheap thrills. However, this one was brilliantly and sadistically done. The dares start out minor and juvenile but steadily grow more dangerous as everyone becomes comfortable and the thirst for easy money is dangling in their faces. Along with this, there are twists and turns that you don’t expect to happen, which I always love. Who doesn’t love it when a film surprises them?

The action, blood, and gore are disturbingly exquisite. There isn’t an abundance of it, but when it does happen, I wouldn’t be surprised if viewers have to look away. It’s crazy how far desperate people will go for money and what body parts are considered “expendable.”

I loved every single one of the characters and their performances were surprisingly impressive. Pat Healy’s character’s transformation throughout the film was amazing and some of his actions were shockingly wonderful. David Koechner typically does comedy roles, but this time his character was far darker and more disturbed with comedic elements. I really enjoyed seeing him play a rich bastard who enjoys the torment and ridicule of others – plus he delivered it well. Sara Paxton is always a beautiful gem to behold and I loved seeing her sickly twisted motives in Cheap Thrills unfold. She’s done a few horror movies beyond this one and I hope she continues to because she is rare peach in the genre.

Image result for cheap thrills 2014

As always, I favored Ethan Embry’s character a tad bit. As I mentioned previously, I went into this film blindly, not knowing anything about it. I remember as my friend and I were watching, I said, “Holy shit! Is that Embry?!” I was stoked and shocked by his performance. He had the “cool guy with a bit of a bully complex” bit down and yet you still loved him because personalities like that often come with a charismatic persona. His character had quite the transformation as well and it was mind blowing to see how much greed and wealth can change a person and their intentions.

Last but not least, I have to mention the disturbingly wonderful chemistry between David Koechner and Sara Paxton. This is not a couple that you would picture together, but they definitely bonded through their love of money and fucked up shit. They know how to plan and do evil things without ever lifting a finger – unless that finger is handing out money. By far, this was one of the best fucked up couples that I’ve seen in a long time and you know this wasn’t their first rodeo.

Final thoughts:

Overall, Cheap Thrills is a fun, bloody story that will satisfy your sadistic appetite. It starts out a wee bit slow, but once it gets going, the crazy and absurd moments don’t stop until it’s over. I kept thinking, “I would never do that for money,” but I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures. So if you want a fun roller coaster of bloody persuasion, watch Cheap Thrills on Netflix and let us know far you would go for money.

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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