Would You Rather (film)

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Would You Rather
Would You Rather Poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Guy Levy
Produced by
  • Zak Kilberg
  • Maura Anderson
  • David Guy Levy
Written by Steffen Schlachtenhaufen
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Steven Capitano
Edited by Josh Schaeffer
Production
company
  • Lambrick Foundation, LLC
  • Periscope Entertainment
  • Social Construct Films
  • Dreamher Productions
Distributed by IFC Films
Release date
  • October 14, 2012 (2012-10-14)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Would You Rather is a 2012 American psychological horror-thriller film starring Brittany Snow and Jeffrey Combs. It is based on the party game "would you rather," and centers on Snow's character, Iris, as she attends a dinner party, where she must partake in a life-threatening game to help her sick brother secure a donor. The film premiered at Screamfest 2012.[1]

Plot[edit]

Iris, a young woman caring for her sick brother Raleigh, is unable to afford the costs of his treatment for leukemia. Her brother's oncologist, Dr. Barden, introduces Iris to Shepard Lambrick, a philanthropist, who offers her a deal: if she wins a parlor game at a dinner party, his charitable foundation will pay for Raleigh's treatment and locate a bone marrow donor for him immediately. Dr. Barden was a former winner of the game. Iris reluctantly accepts.

The next day at Lambrick's manor, Iris is introduced to his son Julian and the other contestants: Lucas; Travis, a war veteran; Linda, a paralyzed elderly woman; Peter, a gambling addict; Cal; Amy; and Conway, an alcoholic debtor. A steak and foie gras dinner is served but Iris, a vegetarian, initially declines to eat it. Shepard then offers her $10,000 to compromise her principles; she accepts his offer and eats the steak. When Shepard realizes Conway is a recovering alcoholic, he offers him $10,000 to drink a glass of wine. When Conway declines, Shepard offers him $50,000 to drink an entire decanter of Scotch. Conway accepts the $50,000 and reluctantly drinks the Scotch.

After dinner ends, the game begins. Shepard reveals it to be a version of the party game "Would you rather...?", in which players must choose between two options. Shepard gives his guests the opportunity to leave without playing, but everyone stays. After Shepard's butler, a former MI5 agent named Bevans, wheels in an electric shock machine, the drunken Conway attempts to leave but is shot dead. Each contestant is then given 15 seconds to choose between shocking themselves or another person. Cal shocks himself instead of Amy. Amy shocks Linda, who temporarily passes out. Linda shocks Peter, who attempts to leave but is threatened by Bevans. Lucas is shocked next by Travis; then Lucas refuses to shock Iris, instead shocking himself for the second time in a row and passing out. Iris then chooses to shock herself instead of Cal. During the break, Travis and Julian get into an argument.

In the second round, each contestant has 30 seconds to choose between stabbing someone in the thigh with an ice pick or whipping Travis three times with a sjambok. After Iris debates her options of stabbing Cal or whipping Travis, Travis willingly submits to being whipped by Iris and Lucas to save anyone from being stabbed. Julian smirks and snickers as Travis is whipped, revealing that Julian is behind Travis' fate. Travis is then given the option to either stab Lucas or take three lashes from Bevans. He chooses to take the lashings, despite Lucas' attempts to stop him from doing so. Knowing Travis will not survive another whipping, Peter stabs and accidentally kills Linda when he hits her femoral artery. Linda stabs Amy right before she dies, and Amy elbows her in the nose. Amy, who is more focused on eliminating everyone else, is allowed to stab any player she likes and chooses Iris. Instead of stabbing Iris in the leg she stabs her in the stomach, trying to get Iris eliminated by killing her. With Travis and Lucas' help, Iris lives. Cal chooses to whip Travis so he'll have a higher chance of winning by rendering Travis unresponsive.

Lucas causes a distraction, and everyone but Amy attempts to escape the room. Cal advances on Shepard with the sjambok as Lucas attacks the guards and Iris escapes. After Shepard shoots and kills Cal, the others surrender. Shepard sends Bevans and Julian after Iris. Julian finds Iris first and attempts to rape her, but she stabs him with the ice pick. Dr. Barden, who has had second thoughts about sending Iris to Shepard, breaks into the mansion to save her. Drawn by her cries, Barden and Bevans converge on her. Bevans kills Barden, escorts Iris back to the game, and sends Julian upstairs.

After Bevans and Shepard apologize to Iris for Julian's behavior, the third round begins: a 30 second choice between getting dunked in a barrel for two minutes or an unknown task written on a card sealed until after the player chooses. Peter chooses his card, which requires him to light a firecracker in his hand. Shepard has Bevans secure a quarter stick of dynamite in place with duct tape. The explosion destroys Peter's hand, causing a heart attack, and he dies. Lucas' card forces him to slit open his own eye within 30 seconds. Iris chooses the barrel and survives; her card is revealed to have been extraction of all of her teeth. Amy, whose ex-husband drowned her daughter, chooses her card and finds that she must be dunked for four minutes. Amy drowns.

Only Iris and Lucas remain for the fourth round. Iris wins a coin toss to go first. She is given the choice to either shoot and kill Lucas to win the game, or spare him which would result in both walking away empty-handed. As Lucas attempts to talk her into sparing him and explains the struggles of his family, she abruptly shoots and kills him. Shepard crowns her the champion, gives her a bag full of money, and explains that a donor has already been located for her brother and he will have surgery later that week. At home, Iris finds Raleigh asleep on his bed so she heads to shower the blood off her. After the shower, she goes to her brother's room only to find Raleigh was not sleeping, but had committed suicide by overdosing on his medication, and Iris cries out in anguish.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film's shooting began in July 2011.[2] It was filmed on location in Pasadena, Woodland Hills, and Los Angeles, CA.

Reception[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 55% of 20 surveyed critics gave it a positive review; the average rating is 4.8/10.[3] Metacritic rated it 20/100 based on 11 reviews.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IFC Midnight Acquires 'Would You Rather'". Deadline.com. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2016-09-25. 
  2. ^ "Details On New Sasha Grey Film, Would You Rather". Dread Central. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Would You Rather (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Would You Rather". Metacritic. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 

External links[edit]