I can't help but wonder if a cheap ideology deserves a satire as cheap as this one. Any dummy can tell you that this film is about how there are no nice-guy winners in capitalism, yet the crudeness of such a message is ideal for the format here. A funny, fun film, yet as in most escalating game concepts the returns are low as the stakes mainly rely on us anticipating what comes next.
As a social satire on greed, Cheap Thrills runs out of things to say. Yet, the character relationships and the intense character arc makes the emotion much, um, richer. It's held together by its actors and is the very definition of a dark comedy that works: you feel freakish laughing at its twisted humor among other people. Even if it's predictable in its plot, it's deliriously funny and dramatically intense.
This movie is a hidden gem among low budget films. It expertly weaves a tale about morality and cognitive dissonance. What will you do for money? Where is the point of no return? Straightforward yet powerful, I would give it a 4,5 star rating if it were possible.
I'm not sure what the point of this is other than to teach us that people will degrade themselves for money, which we already know from TV. Katz does nothing to distinguish it stylistically beyond its premise of escalating dares, which function more as discrete stunts than narrative building blocks.
The script tells by all means what superior Chookiat Sakveerakul's 13 Game Sayawng already told, but with a faltering direction that never EVER chooses between an unpretensious and dark sense of humor and the seriousness that a dramatic character study asks for. And this is a little annoying.
A somewhat nasty piece of work that should stand as a good calling card for debut feature director E.I. Katz. Script shines a light on how extreme one will go for the love of the dollar and what some financial freedom or relief from debt may feel like. Nothing new under the sun here but still an entertaining ride. Performances vary but the script is certainly tight enough for the 90 minute ride.
An exploration of what we'll do to ourselves and each other to keep our heads above water. And the persuasive power of money when you don't have it. And how you can be coaxed step by step into unimaginable territory. It's all very well done, but portions are excessively derivative.
Clever, cruel, and criminally hilarious. David Koechner tones down his usually amped up energy to calmly and coolly pull the strings on two distant and desperate friends who will potentially do anything when money is thrown at them. E.L. Katz pulls no punches with his characters or the audience. Definitely worth it, and I'll be looking forward to more from this guy for sure. Another win for the 1st quarter of 2014.