Movie Review: Would You Rather (2012)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the psychological thriller starring Brittany Snow and Jeffrey Combs.

Synopsis: Strapped for cash and taking care of a sick brother who needs a bone marrow transfusion, Iris agrees to attend a dinner party thrown by a wealthy philanthropist in the hopes he will give her money and move her brother to the top of the donor list. What she doesn’t know, however, is she and seven other guests must first compete in a sadistic version of the game Would You Rather until only one person is left alive.


I was able to get the kids in bed at a reasonable hour last night, allowing my wife and me to watch a movie together. Since there wasn’t anything playing on our movie channels that looked interesting, I, instead, went to my Netflix list and picked out this film because it sounded interesting. As it turns out, it was actually better than I was expecting it to be.

I love psychological thrillers, at least when they are done correctly, and this film did everything right. The game they played, while relatively simple, opened up a lot of potential. The various choices the players had to make (under the threat of being shot) started out relatively mild (should you shock yourself or another player?) but increased with each turn (do you whip an unconscious and dying player or do you stab another player in the leg?) and, eventually, became fatal. Even Iris (Snow) wasn’t immune to this and took her fair share of the punishment, despite the fact there were times when their host (Combs) seemed to be giving her a little more of an advantage over the other players.

Adding to the excitement was the fact the majority of the players weren’t content just being pawns and, on occasion, would rise up, try to end the game and escape. As I’ve said in the past, movies like this are always better when the villain has an opportunity to prove his dominance. And, each time they failed to escape or an effort to form an alliance against their host failed, it just added to the sense of hopelessness.

One thing that surprised me about this movie was it wasn’t as gruesome as I was expecting it to be. Even though the various dares (such as holding a lit firecracker or slashing your eye out) had that potential, the movie did keep the actual blood and gore to a reasonable minimum. I think this was a good choice because excessive gore tends to be distracting and this movie was just fine without the distractions.

My only real complaint about the film was the ending was a little predictable. When Iris was given her final choice, her decision really wasn’t as much of a surprise as I think the writers were hoping it would be. Plus my wife and I were both able to correctly predict the ironic twist thrown in at the very end.  Fortunately, the rest of the film was entertaining enough to make up for the somewhat weak ending.

Would You Rather

What would you do if a millionaire offered you a chance to solve all your life s problems? After the tragic death of her parents, Iris (Brittany Snow, Pitch Perfect) is desperat...

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Final Opinion

When we first started watching this film, I hoped it would at least be as good as the description made it sound. It turned out to be better. If you like psychological thrillers, this is one I would definitely recommend taking the time to watch.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 07/09/2015, StevenHelmer
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