Annette Kellerman lives for some CHEAP THRILLS at Fantastic Fest 2013!
During this years SXSW I had the misfortune of missing every screening for CHEAP THRILLS. Though I kept hearing rave reviews from all my pals, none of the showtimes fit my schedule. Needless to say, I was very excited to hear that Drafthouse Films had acquired the film and would be screening it at Fantastic Fest. I am always a bit worried when my expectations for a film are so sky high, but I am happy to report that CHEAP THRILLS met and exceeded any preconceived notions that I already had.
The story begins with Craig, a down-on-his-luck family man whose writing career is a wash. With bills piling up and an eviction notice taped to his door, Craig hits rock bottom when he gets laid off from his Joe job doing oil changes. While drowning his sorrows at a local dive, Craig is reunited with Vince, an old buddy from high school. Though they once had much in common, it quickly becomes apparent that the pair have chosen different paths since they last met five years earlier. Where Craig has followed the straight and narrow, Vince's career choice as a knee breaker inherently lends itself to a more seedy lifestyle. What the pair do still have in common is money issues. While commiserating about their respective woes, the pair is introduced to a mysterious couple, Colin and Violet, who insist that they join them for a night of debauchery. Colin and Violet's brand of partying, however, involves a series of dares and bets with the winner collecting cash from Colin's seemingly bottomless pockets. Though the challenges start off fairly innocent at first- the first to take a shot gets $50, get the girl at the bar to slap you and get $100, etc- the dares and the winnings soon escalate to a level that no one (except maybe Colin and Violet) could predict.
At its heart, CHEAP THRILLS is a simple study in desperation, manipulation, and greed. It is a story about the ridiculous lengths people will go to for money, even when the consequences become increasingly grim.
Writers Trent Haaga and David Chirchirillo have created a unique group of characters and have thrown them into an extraordinary set of circumstances that eventually spiral out of control. Director E.L. Katz has brilliantly illustrated the duo's story by keeping the tension level amped throughout the film while also gradually increasing an overall feeling of desperation as the story and characters devolve.
To say this movie wouldn't work without the the incredible performances of the actors would be a major understatement. Pat Healy's Craig is a note perfect portrait of a man who begrudgingly gets involved in the group's shenanigans and comes out a changed man. Ethan Embry as Vince lends the story the loose cannon that it needs, but also makes a most bittersweet arc that left me stunned. Sara Paxton and David Koechner as Violet and Colin are aptly creepy without being obvious at all. I absolutely loved seeing Koechner in a dramatic role. It's always so fascinating to see the class clown play serious, but Koechner plays downright sinister here without going over the top.
You absolutely must see CHEAP THRILLS when Drafthouse Films eventually delivers it to a screen near you.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
- You're going to have to wait until 2017 to fly again with Hiccup and Toothless in HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3! -- 38 total posts 11 posts
- 1st wk of Sept 2014's PICKS & PEEKS with Universal Monsters, FIRESTARTER, Eco-Terrorism, swords & fantasy! -- 228 total posts 10 posts
- WIRE Reunion!! Clarke Peters Joins Winona Ryder, James Belushi, Daniel Stern, Alfred Molina, Catherine Keener And Oscar Isaac For David Simon’s HBO Class-Warfare Miniseries SHOW ME A HERO!! -- 19 total posts 8 posts
- Guillermo del Toro and Legendary Teaming Up with YouTube for Halloween Short Films Project! -- 38 total posts 7 posts
- A Badass GAME OF THRONES Sword Guy Has Apparently Been Cast In STAR WARS EPISODE VII!! -- 164 total posts 5 posts
- Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling to bust some heads as Shane Black's NICE GUYS in July 2016! -- 42 total posts 5 posts
- Ridley Scott Says The BLADE RUNNER Sequel Is Written And It’s… -- 470 total posts 4 posts
- BBC Issues DOCTOR WHO: ‘Robot of Sherwood’ Promo Images!! + DOCTOR WHO EXTRAs For ‘Deep Breath’ And ‘Into the Dalek’ Are Now On YouTube!! -- 81 total posts 4 posts
-- 25 total posts 3 posts
- New Red-Band Trailer For ABCs OF DEATH 2 Ain't Fucking Around! -- 36 total posts 2 posts