Available on Netflix streaming
A dinner party that starts with cocktails and devolves into tableside drownings by barrel.
That’s the gist of Would You Rather, a horror-thriller starring Brittany Snow and featuring a hodge podge of actors who seem like they’d be fun at an actual dinner party: John Heard, Sasha Grey, Oscar-nominated June Squibb, and Eddie Steeples, who some might remember from his early years as The Rubber Band Man.
This handful of random dinner guests shows up at the home of a rich philanthropist in hopes of securing money for a range of life problems — Snow, as Iris, needs money for her little brother’s organ transplant, their parents having already died. As the night progresses, it becomes clear each guest will have to complete increasingly violent tasks to stay in play…things of the ice-pick-in-the-leg variety.
Snow actually serves as both star and Executive Producer on the film, which means A) she really, really loves horror movies; B) she really, really needed a project to keep her career afloat, or C) She found herself in a real game of Would You Rather with a room full of MGM executives and had to choose between making the movie and taking a Broadway role in the stage adaptation of The Money Pit. That’s not to say the film is terrible — it has its perks– but it’s hard to imagine Snow was blown away by the script.
Still, Snow has secured her place in the list of Top Scream Queens of the century, despite her more saccharine turns in projects like American Dreams and Pitch Perfect, giving the movie some street cred. Gore fans will get a couple of cringeworthy moments as the challenges get more creative, and Would You Rather’s got a little surprise for its audience that is arguably its best moment and makes it worth watching.
My rating: 2 1/2 Jax