Let's be clear about one thing here: The reason Would You Rather is a great movie is not so much that it's a great movie. No, the reason Would You Rather is a great movie, is that Jeffrey Combs–per usual–is great in it.
This is a film that in many ways reminds me of the Vincent Price classic, House on Haunted Hill. (Somewhat, but not too interestingly, Combs appeared not just in the remake, but also in its sequel, Return to House on Haunted Hill. Yes, apparently it warranted a sequel.) The premise of an eccentric millionaire inviting a group of people to a dinner party, with the promise of huge sums of money for partaking in a bizarre game? It's a recycled concept, but it's still good.
The twist, of sorts, is that the game is actually a game. More specifically, would you rather, which, not shockingly, takes on a rather cruel twist.
A promising premise, and while the movie is fairly morbid, it never reaches the graphic heights (or lows) of Saw and Hostel. Had it ever reached the theaters, it could easily have passed a PG-13 rating with a bit of editing. But I digress.
Like previously mentioned, Combs ups this movie to awesome, gleefully portraying the host as both a gentleman and an entitled sadist (not unlike Price in House on Haunted Hill). His turn in Re-Animator might have firmly stuck him in a vortex of typecasting and voice acting, but if he can spend the remainder of his career hamming it up like this… Start up the entertainment train, as that'd benefit us all.
I don't know, maybe I'm just a sucker for the macabre, but I kinda enjoyed seeing what crazy challenges the host would come up with next. Having a vegetarian eat a steak for $10,000? What a butt!
There are many things that could have gone wrong with Would You Rather–for god's sake, it stars and is produced by Brittany Snow–but it keeps entertaining all the way until the semi-surprising end. It leaves room for a sequel too!
And we all know he'll be there: Jeffrey Combs, cursing out a life of typecasting, his only solace being his fans flocking around Netflix, watching obscure straight-to-video gold.
Letterboxd summary: Desperate to help her ailing brother, a young woman agrees to compete in a deadly game of "Would You Rather", hosted by a sadistic aristocrat.
Ratings from around the web
|One Star Classics||5/6|