Cheap Thrills (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||E.L. Katz|
|Produced by||Gabriel Cowan
|Written by||Trent Haaga
|Music by||Mads Heldtberg|
|Edited by||Brody Gusar|
New Artists Alliance
|Distributed by||Drafthouse Films|
|Running time||85 minutes|
Cheap Thrills is a 2013 black comedy thriller directed by E.L. Katz in his directorial debut. It premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW) on March 8, 2013, and was acquired by Drafthouse Films and Snoot Entertainment. It was released on March 24, 2014, in the United States.
Craig (Pat Healy), is an auto mechanic who loses his job. He is unable to pay his rent and after seeing the eviction sign, he goes to a bar, where he meets someone from his old high school, Vince (Ethan Embry). A rich couple, Colin and Violet (David Koechner and Sara Paxton), give them money for completing certain tasks. The tasks are simple at first, but they later become violent.
- Pat Healy as Craig
- Ethan Embry as Vince
- David Koechner as Colin
- Sara Paxton as Violet
- Amanda Fuller as Audrey
- Brighton Sharbino as Luann
It is E.L. Katz's first film, for which he was also the writer. After premiering at SXSW, a day-long auction took place for rights to the film in a rare bidding war. Drafthouse Films, partnered with Snoot Entertainment, won the auction. Drafthouse Films plan on releasing the film theatrically on limited screens. It later screened at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Drafthouse Films released Cheap Thrills on DVD/Blu-Ray May 27th, 2014 which included a comprehensive, 45-minute documentary called "Vital Heat: The Making of Cheap Thrills".
Joe Leydon, writing for Variety, said that film "is a thoroughly nasty piece of work, which doubtless will be the strongest selling point for this worst-case scenario about steadily escalating dares and degradations". John Defore, of The Hollywood Reporter, said that the film is "one of the most involving works of cinematic misanthropy in years". Defore compared the film to Indecent Proposal and The Most Dangerous Game. Scott Weinberg, of the online horror website Fearnet, said, "Cheap Thrills breezes by on a twisted idea, a fantastic cast, and a bunch of ethical quandaries that are both eerily uncomfortable and slyly fascinating at the same time."
Simon Foster of SBS Films said, "A textbook case of a film that never quite amounts to the sum of its parts, Cheap Thrills is still more than its title suggests and provides dark entertainment for those in the mood."
- Gilchrist, Todd. "Cheap Thrills Director E.L. Katz On Small Budgets, Big Ideas And The Horror Of Financial Success". Forbes. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- "Cheap Thrills". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
- Yamato, Jen (March 11, 2013). "UPDATE: Drafthouse Films Picks Up ‘Cheap Thrills’ In First Deal Of SXSW 2013". Deadline. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
- DeFore, John (August 6, 2013). "Cheap Thrills – H2013 Cheap Thrills: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
- Leydon, Joe (March 22, 2013). "Film Review: ‘Cheap Thrills’". Variety. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
- Weinberg, Scott (March 9, 2013). "FEARnet Movie Review: 'Cheap Thrills'". Fearnet. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
- Foster, Simon. "Cheap Thrills". SBS Films. Retrieved August 28, 2013.