Cheap Thrills

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Newly redundant mechanic Craig (Healy) and slacker Vince (Ethan Embry) are tempted into a variety of twisted and violent dares when a couple (David Koechner and Sara Paxton) dangles cash in front of them in a dive bar.


E. L. Katz's punishingly black comedy is slight on the surface but rich with subtexts and between-the-lines teasing. We learn little of the nominal villains as Pat Healy and Ethan Embry are pitted against each other for a series of increasingly violent dares for cash, but they’re pleasingly mysterious rather than frustrating blanks, and David Koechner (Anchorman’s Champ Kind) clearly relishes the opportunity to be sinister rather than stupid. There’s still genuine humour amid the horror, however, and the punchlines are devastating and hilarious (although one is nicked from Trading Places).

A grimly funny social allegory that doesn't pull a single punch.