Friday, September 23, 2016

A very bad host

Would You Rather, a 2012 combo of horror and black comedy, is, without a doubt, sadistic and somewhat depressing. It's also very stylish and true to itself.

If you're brother is chronically and perhaps terminally ill and your parents didn't leave you enough money to care for him or really yourself, you're likely to be desperate for a way out from under, as Iris (Brittany Snow) is. So an invitation from a wealthy benefactor (Jeffrey Combs) won't be unwelcome. Perhaps it should be, because when the two of them meet in a doctor's office, he's already twenty kinds of creepy. Seriously if anyone invites you to dinner and says you'll be "playing a game of sorts" tell them you have to wash your hair.

The dinner party and the game produce a lot of mayhem. Not as much gore as you might think. Like I say, it's stylish. It feels kind of like a giallo version of And Then There Were None.

Robin Lord Taylor plays a character much nastier than the young Penguin here. And if you think you've seen everything from Jeffrey Combs, wait until you see him with a Burt Reynolds mustache.


susan said...

You're definitely a good reviewer and your take on this one makes the movie sound quite intriguing. Having just watched the trailer I doubt I'd be able to keep my eyes open for the entire film - I love mysteries and lots of thrillers but I do tend to be squeamish. I'll be sorry to miss seeing Robin Lord Taylor in another role, though. Speaking of him, I should probably tell you we were very disappointed with the second season of Gotham mostly because it became very serious and extremely violent far more often than necessary. I was glad when it ended.

When it comes to watching a group of people gathered together in a remote location (or any sealed off from the world one), when murder comes calling I'll stick with that prime example you mentioned. 'And Then There Were None' is the backbone of the modern slasher film and has never been done as well or better than this. The good news too is that we can all watch it on youtube for free.

Ben said...

I can see what you mean about the second season of Gotham. Still, there are compensations. I think Barbara, Gordon's ex-fiancee, works a lot better as a villain with occasional sympathetic moments than as an unsympathetic and mostly useless civilian.

Yeah, this one's got mystery elements, but it's also an out-and-out horror movie, so caveat emptor. There's a moment that echoes one of the more notorious scenes from Luis Bunuel's work, although it's actually less explicit than Bunuel and Dali did it 80-90 years previously.

Impressive that all of the Rene Clair version of ATTWN can be seen for free on YouTube. I guess no one was paying attention when the copyright ran out. It looks promising. Walter Huston - father of John, natch - has never disappointed me when I've seen him.