Would You Rather?

2012 / Rated NR 

Director: David Guy Levy

Writers: Steffen Schlachtenhaufen (his last name means "battle pile" in german)

Stars: Brittany Snow, June Squibb, Jeffrey Combs

Would you rather chop off your arm or watch this movie from start to finish? My answer? I might seriously consider the chopping (and then immediately choose to watch the movie because ouch!). Ok so it's probably not that bad - definitely not the worst I've seen - but it is bad.

Brittany Snow is adorable, as per usual, in her portrayal of a sister willing to do whatever it takes to pay for her brother's cancer treatment. "Whatever it takes", in this case, means agreeing to attend an unfortunate dinner party, hosted by some wealthy guy. She becomes one of six participants in a sadistic game of "would you rather." The winner of the game will receive enough money from the host to essentially set them up for life. How could this not be a great idea??

The "game" escalates quickly from a simple "would you rather remain a vegetarian, with your convictions in tact, or eat an entire cow liver for $50,000" to "would you rather electrocute yourself or the person sitting next to you?" Nice, huh? This movie is a representation of torture porn gone terribly wrong. Even as someone who is often a fan of movies from the torture porn genre, I find this to be a pathetic attempt to capitalize on the success of the Saw and Hostel movies (though, to be fair, the third Hostel was embarrassing).

Where this movie seems to stray from the path that Hostel so nicely laid out is really in its overall plot and character development. Now, I'm not trying to say that torture porn films need to make a point to focus on character development, because they generally do not - but what a movie like Hostel may lack in plot and characters, it makes up for tenfold in its brutal and realistic gore. Would You Rather does not do this. Its weak story is coupled with scenes of gore that are almost equally as weak, especially for this genre (with the exception of maybe one scene involving an eyeball and a razor blade...). As for the plot, it's just boring. It wasn't an interesting story and, with nothing else to fall back on, it's easy to find yourself checking out, mentally.

Would I recommend this movie? No. No, I would not.