The Cinefessions crew loves sharing their opinions on films, but not every movie can get the attention it deserves with a full review. Enter the Cinefessions’ Capsule Reviews. These capsule reviews cover five of the most important aspects of a film, which allow the crew to deliver their opinions on any movie clearly, decisively, and with brevity. These are not our full thoughts on any film, just a highlighting of the major pros and/or cons.


Would You RatherTitle: Would You Rather (2012)
Director: David Guy Levy
Runtime: 93 minutes

Story & Script
After their parent’s deaths, Iris is left to take care of her younger brother, who is sick. She is struggling to find work when she gets an offer she can’t refuse by an eccentric man named Mr. Lambrick. Her doctor introduces her to him, so she has reason to trust him, even if his offer to play a game to win a boatload of money, and get her sick brother on the top of the donor list, seems way too good to be true. When she arrives, there are eight other hopefuls that have little to no knowledge of what “game” they’re about to get into. It only takes a few minutes before all eight guests realize that the old adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is”, is absolutely true.

What’s most remarkable about this script is that the whole things feels as if it could really happen. There are a lot of sick people in the world, and it’s true that the rich seem to get away with just about anything. There’s nothing in here that is too out of the realm of reality, which makes the whole damn thing so unsettling. The problems comes with the finale. I guessed the ending before it hit, which isn’t always bad, but is a bit underwhelming when it turns out exactly as you expected.

Acting
Brittany Snow is the lead, and I love watching her in horror films. She was the best part of Prom Night, and does a stellar job here as well. She looks so innocent, which works wonderfully in a horror film. The characters are all very unique to one another, and that is important in a film that is based on a certain group of individuals reacting in a given situation. It allows for each response to feel organic and natural. Sasha Grey is in this, and though her character is interesting, she is forced to use a southern dialect that she only half nails. Otherwise, she does an excellent job. What is most interesting is that we learn almost nothing of the backstory of any of these characters outside of our lead, but I still managed to care about who lived and who died.

Direction
Would You Rather is a graphic horror film, no doubt about it, which is why it is so powerful when director David Guy Levy decides not to show some of the gore. Instead, at select moments, we just see the groups’ reaction, which is even more effective than seeing the bloodshed. When we do see that carnage, though, it is absolutely brutal. Everything looks ultra-realistic, and the addition of a certain character does a lot to add to the tension of the story.

Intangibles
Would Your Rather made me squirm. A lot. Brutal is the word I keep wanting to repeat. It had a strong effect on me, which is something that not many horror films can do anymore.

Rewatchability
I would be glad to watch this film again, even with all of the disgusting shots.

The Verdict
Would You Rather has been on my radar for years, but I never got around to watching it. I love Brittany Snow, and I wanted to see what she could do in, what essentially is, a torture porn horror film. She did even better than I hoped, and, as a result, the movie is a lot better than I expected. The film’s biggest flaw – only flaw, really – is the ending. It was surely supposed to come across as shocking, but was instead predictable and almost felt like too much. That being said, I still really enjoyed Would You Rather. It’s a treat for gorehounds, and fans of the old, but not forgotten, torture porn subgenre of horror films.

three_stars


Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions

Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.