Would You Rather

Director: David Guy Levy (2012)
Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Brittany Snow, Eddie Steeples
Find it: IMDB

Jeffrey Combs wants to play a game. Not Monopoly though - a murderous game of Would You Rather - the choices being increasingly more grisly, escalating from a little light electrocution to stabbing one another in the legs. Or having to choose between being drowned or (semi) blown up. Only slightly more violent than Monopoly, then.

It could be worse, it could be Scrabble. I once argued with a friend for a week over a game of Scrabble. Vegetarian Iris (Snow), whose brother needs a vital bone marrow transplant, answers a mysterious advert posted by creepy aristocrat Shepard Lambrick. Play (and win) his game, he promises, and he'll solve all of her problems. All she has to do is beat the other players. And not die.

What could so easily have been another uninspired Saw rip-off is elevated to another level by the presence of Jeffrey Combs, Brittany Snow and the always great Eddie Steeples. Whether it's playing a bionic leg doctor in I Know Who Killed Me or as Crab Man in My Name Is Earl, there's no film that can't be improved with a little Mr. Steeples.

Oh, hey Crab Man.
It helps that Jeffrey Combs' game is more interesting and exciting than those we usually see in this sort of film. Unlike the relatively dull Truth or Dare, there's someone to root for (hey again, Crab Man), plenty of variety to the mutilation on show, and Combs' overseer isn't too smug (a problem I have with most torture films) that it ever becomes a chore to watch. Of course it's nowhere near the quality of his collaborations with Stuart Gordon of the eighties, but then, nothing ever is. There's a nifty eyeball trauma scene, some fun times with an alcoholic, and Jeffrey Combs is wearing a moustache. 

It's occasionally predictable, and you can more or less guess who will die and (give or take) in what order, but Would You Rather is a lot of fun. There are far worse alternatives out there. 

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