What would you do to make some fast cash? That is the underlying theme of Cheap Thrills.
Meet Craig (Pat Healy), a nice average guy, married with a child. Like most of society he is in financial trouble and needs to make some money fast. While drowning his sorrows about his current situation in a bar, he bumps into an old friend he hasn’t seen in a long time. Vince (Ethan Embry) is a debt collector and whole Craig toys with the idea of it, he dispels the thought fairly quickly because deep down he is a nice guy.
They meet Colin and Violet (Sara Paxton and David Koechner) who it seems like to throw their money around. It’s Violet’s birthday and they want a good night and while in the bar they are dared to various things for money. It seems that money is a strong motivator and when their seems to be endless amounts of it there is a game to be played.
At the beginning of this little game, Craig and Vince are friends, they have each other’s back and they even plan to double cross the couple, which backfires spectacularly. This results in an everyman for himself” mindset coming through and both men begin to compete to win as much money as possible by initially doing simple stuff such as take s shit in a neighbour’s house or seeing who can hold their breath for the longest time. It’s only when the game changes that it takes a more sinister twist and the dares get much more intense but the money for each dare also goes up which seems to make it all worth it for these two money hungry men.
Cheap Thrills is not a film you will like but it is a film you will feel compelled to watch. It is a film that explores our society innate hunger for money and exactly what we will do to get it. It does not sugar coat it, it is stark and laid out bare in front of your eyes. This is the society we live in whether we want to believe it or not and this film is the first step in making reawakening the beast that has been dormant for some time. It also explores the link between friendship and money. The pair was willing to fight to the death if necessary, all just to earn some extra cash. I recommend this film to anyone who wants to explore the deeper themes within it, although I would suggest not going to see it just after you have eaten!