Would I Rather Review This, Or Shoot Myself? A “Would You Rather” Review

10 Nov

You got to love a movie who wears it’s faults on it’s chest, or rather, it’s poster: A person about to slice open their own eye with a razor blade!

CLASSY.

Something ‘pleasant’ this way comes!

That’s right, we’re back at the torture porn! Did ya miss it? (No. No, you did not.) Like all great works of cinema out there, I decided to spotlight this one by going to Netflix and throwing a fucking dart! Let’s roll!

Ahem!

The film opens with a woman being interviewed for a restaurant position while the soundtrack tells us that this is terrifying and should be feared. OH GOD NOT THE FOOD INDUSTRY.

Turns out some kind of vague “accident”, as she tells the interviewer, got her to move “out here”, and that’s why she needs the job. He tells her he’ll see what he can do but she shouldn’t get her hopes up, and we cut to our artsy credit sequence. You… you did see your own poster, right? Stop trying to be classy, it’s never going to work!

After a series of slow pans over x-rays, we cut to the woman talking to a guy in a hat as he makes breakfast. (… That was not a sentence I expected to type today.) Hat Boy is her brother and sick, and she’s heading to the hospital to figure out how to pay less for his treatment. Well, not getting sick in the first place sounds like a good idea, you silly man!

Just stop it! Stop it right now! You heard me!

At the hospital, the woman who’s name is Iris (oh, get it, Iris, eye sliced by a razor blade on the cover, very fucking clever) is introduced to Shepard Lambrick. He’ll be our bargain bin Jigsaw for the film, if you will, if you replaced that creepy puppet thing with a moustache.

SO ALL IN ALL A ONE HUNDRED PERCENT IMPROVEMENT.

Lambrick lays out the plot: His company will pay for everything Iris and her brother could possibly need in life, but only if she attends a dinner party. The guests will be other people who need the money, and they’ll all play a little game, and whoever wins, wins the money. And the losers will be fed delicious candy, given unicorns, and receive immortality, and definitely won’t be tortured to death, yay!

Iris is understandably incredulous, and asks for time to think it over. Lambrick of course says yes, lets her leave, and “Oh, by the way, did I mention that we’ll also get your brother his desperately needed bone marrow transplant as well as finance your life and you have to say yes by tonight or your brother will die ‘kay thanks bye”.

Subtlety is not your strong-suit, Lammypoo.

At home, Iris makes her brother dinner before getting called by the restaurant and told, very politely, to fuck right off. Through a montage, Hat Boy chastises her for her constant need to play the hero… while she’s also shown calling up Lambrick and telling her she’s in.

Wait… is this a humanizing character flaw, shown through a parallel between what we’ve seen and what we’ve been told?

Huh.

I… I’m not sure what’s going on any more.

Iris says goodbye to Hat Boy, slips in to her fanciest purple party dress, and is driven by some of Lambrick’s people to the plot. Meanwhile, she flashes back to a conversation she had with Hat Boy. “Aren’t you ever tired of it, sis? Having to ferry me around from clinic to clinic? Don’t you want a real life? Don’t you want this over with?”

“Oh, of course not, Hat Boy!”

“Really? Damn, ’cause if it was me, I would’ve dumped you on your ass a hell of a long time ago!”

“… Well, NOW I would.”

Actually, it’s an interesting point: Does Iris actually have a hero complex, or is she simply looking for a way to get this over with? Is she going to this party because she wants to save her brother, or because she simply doesn’t want to have to watch over him? It’s an interesting character wrinkle, and one I don’t think Iris even realizes.

(Holy hell, I’m doing in depth character analysis on torture porn, what the fuck is wrong with me.)

Iris arrives at the party in the Lambrick Manor for Torture and Fun, and we’re introduced to our seven other lucky victims! Victor from Dollhouse (I’m serious, it’s the same damn guy), Bruce Willis Lite, the conspiracy theorist, Orange Tie, the gambler, Old Lady Wheelchair, the quiet one, Mr. Pointy Nose, the Iraq veteran, Amy the Emo Girl, and… wait, that’s the Crabman from My Name Is Earl!

Hey, Crabman!

… This is going to be a very strange day, huh.

Victor and Crabman get Iris up to date on their compatriots, which is when Iris sighs and politely requests a drink. The editor apparently heard her, and we cut to Iris’s doctor pouring himself a drink. “Bleeeh, this is going to be a long movie, might as well get wasted now.”

He flashes back to Lambrick gushing over how perfect Iris is for this whole operation. “Oh, she’s perfect! Fighting for her brother, fighting for herself, no family, no friends! Someone really should make a movie about this, you know.”

But knowing that he’s sending his patient to her probable death still has the doctor feeling a bit uneasy, or at least until he manages to get to his booze. “Fortunately for me, my conscious is located in my liver!”

We cut to Lambrick getting ready to go down to the party, while a mopy schmuck in a suit named Julian is wondering why they have to go through the whole dinner instead of just starting the game outright. OH GOD THEY’VE STARTED NOTICING THE PLOT HOLES ABANDON SHIP.

Julian is Lambrick’s son, by the way, and Lambrick starts laying in to him about how they must remain observers only. They may talk, ask questions, but all the physical activity is to be held by the guests and the staff. Nice to have rules, I guess. “We’re allowed to mangle these people behind all recognition, but only emotionally!”

“We have to save the physical torture for the middle class and the hired help, boy!”

Some hints are dropped as to what Julian did last year, and with that foreshadowing out of the way, the two head downstairs to the “party”, in full quotation marks. Meanwhile, the Butler is gathering up everyone’s phones, ’cause it’s the quickest way to write them out of the story, duh!

Our cabal of victims are ushered in to the dining room, and as they sit down, Julian and Lambrick finally enter! Well, welcome to the fuckin’ party, and for once, I’m not saying that sarcastically! Come on in, pull up a chair, enjoy the show!

Dinner is served, steak with some foie gras, and Iris sheepishly admits that she’s a vegetarian. Oh, but don’t worry, she’ll just eat the potatoes and the leeks and-

“I think we just found our first opportunity to win some money tonight.”

Lambrick pulls out a wad of ten thousand dollars and tells her she can have it, no questions, if she eats the meat. So she does, with Lambrick giggling away in the corner that all it took was ten thousand dollars to abandon a lifetime of principles. “Oh, I’m sorry, I guess next time I’ll try to negotiate with the creepy as fuck jackass with a creepy as fuck fetish!”

FOIE GRAS IS A TOOL OF THE DEVIL.

After giving Iris her money, Lambrick turns to Bruce Willis Lite, who’s a recovering alcoholic. So, in accordance to his “being a dick” standard of living, he offers Willis fifty thousand dollars if he drinks a decanter of scotch. You know, at this point, I bet the guests are just going to start making up phobias for easy money.

“Oh no, I’ve got a splinter but I haaaaaate to pull it out!”

“50 000.”

“I don’t think I can strip naked and slap you in the face with my cock, what will I doooooo!”

“100 000.”

“I’m just not sure I could accept being given the entire Lambrick Foundation, the horror!”

“200 000- waaaaait…”

Willis downs the whole damn decanter, which just can’t help but make Lambrick crack up, and the dinner is finally over! Thank god, that steak was making me angry, and the decanter was making me curious to where my absinthe ended up. Alright, looks like it’s finally time to play a little game!

“Ladies and gentlemen, WELCOME TO THE LAMBRICK DOME! The game is ‘Would You Rather’, and the rules are simple: You’re offered two options, neither of which are very nice, and you must act upon what ever you choose! And remember, making a witty line about ‘choosing the third option’ and shooting me in the face is strictly prohibited!”

… This is what came up when I googled “third option”. I am worried.

To prove his point, Lambrick asks Pointy Nose whether he’d rather kiss Iris or Orange Tie. As the main character, he naturally chooses Iris, to the detriment of everyone on Tumblr everywhere.

The game will keep going until everyone is ‘eliminated’. One is eliminated by either refusing to choose, or by “being incapable to continue”. Wow, really? None of you people are leaving yet? Okay, yeah, you deserve to die if you can’t read foreshadowing this fucking obvious!

Each question will be on a timer, and after Lambrick gives a speech about learning what kind of people they are, he offers to drive anyone who doesn’t want to be there home. Annnnnnd naturally, no one leaves. Because if they did that, then we wouldn’t have a plot!

Somewhat of an aside, but I’m reminded of Vincent Prices’s House On Haunted Hill. Both involve a millionaire with a moustache offering a collection of strangers unfathomable amounts of money if they simply stay the night in a manor, and both offer their guests a single chance to leave. But in HoHH, somebody does try to leave, only to be locked in by accident.

HoHH was a paranormal psychological horror, while Would I Rather is a high tension torture flick. And the only thing that’s keeping me from strongly recommending House On Haunted Hill over this thing is the fact that the special effects were mostly composed of roller skates and plasticine.

This… is actually a really accurate poster. Kudos!

Anyway, now that I’m done putting it off as much as possible, back to the movie! The Butler and staff roll in a trolley hooked up to car batteries and wires, which sets Bruce Willis Lite off, ranting and raving to be let out… until the Butler shoots him in the face.

Well, sure, I guess that’s one way to calm him down, but I still prefer a backrub and a warm mug of cocoa.

The rest of the ground understandably freaks out, but a couple seconds of muted sound and the party is underway again! They wrap a wired up headband around the Crabman, and one around Amy, and ask him: Would he rather electrocute himself, or Amy?

Oh, come on, you’re talking to the motherfucking Crabman! The man so nice, they literally had to write an entire episode about how nice he is! He shocks himself, Amy flashes a smile of approval (a thanks would be nice, bitch), and Lambrick sounds like a petulant child who just got told he can’t have two milk boxes at lunch.

Next, they move one of the headbands to Old Lady Wheelchair, and hand Amy the controls. “Now, Amy, would you rather electrocute yourself, or-”

*BZZZZZZ*

“Wow. I’m a vicious perverted old billionaire forcing people to torture each other for money, and that was brutal even by my standards.”

I bet she even held the button a little longer, just to be sure.

For a second, it looks like Old Lady Wheelchair is out of the game, but she eventually wakes up. “Now, it’s your turn! Would you rather electrocute yourself… again… or Orange Tie?” Well, I’m sure someone who knows how it feels to get electrocuted wouldn’t inflict that on anyone else-

*BZZZZZZZZ*

I… stand corrected.

As the game goes on, we cut to the doctor, pulling a pistol out of his sock drawer. He hops in to his car and drives off, and we cut back in time to see Victor hooked up to the headband, with Pointy Nose behind the controls. He nods once to Pointy Nose, telling him to do it, while Amy rolls her eyes across the room. OUR PROTAGONISTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

Victor takes the shock, then whispers to Iris that he’s not going to shock her, but it would be kinda handy if she could buy him a few seconds. Oh, come on, you pansy, I’m sure Dolls get knocked about way worse then this!

She fidgets for a while to give Victor some time, until Lambrick yells at her, and Victor shocks himself for the second time. “Hey, Vic, don’t suppose you could take the shocks for the rest of the game? Pretty please?”

“Hah hah hah fuck you.”

Now, it’s Iris’s turn, and she chooses to shock herself instead of Crabman. Lambrick, content that he’s an asshole, packs up his box of a thousand joy buzzers and gives the party some time to recuperate, and presumably slap that stupid Amy bitch silly.

Back with the doctor, he’s driving along. And now that that essential information is gained, we’re back to the group, discussing how to escape. Apparently, “break through the windows that are blocked with a single pane of plywood” never occurs to them.

Julian walks in, and starts trying to discuss the game like it’s a football game at the watercooler. “Man, the Skull Shockers are going to go all the way this year, huh?” The reasonable point of “you’re fucking crazy” is brought up, only to be countered with the far less sensible “you agreed to be here”.

*pinch bridge of nose between fingers”

You know, you pasty motherfucker, your stupid ass lesson of “this is what people will do for greed” is kind of fucked in the ass when you are physically preventing them from leaving! Plus, you lied to them to get them here! That’s like blindfolding someone, tying them to your bed and having sex with them, then saying “hey, you asked for this” when they try to leave!

And WOW this analogy got dark fast! Can we have a kitten over here?

Lets just keep this handy, I have a feeling we’re going to need it.

Anyway, Julian goes on about how they should show him and his dad “respect” because they’re here begging for handouts- wait one fucking second, you were OFFERING! You offered them anything they wanted if they showed up and played! Just what part of that is “begging”, the part where they said yes?

Pointy Nose is ready to lay in to the nasty little twerp, but after shouting a bit, Julian informs him that, “you really made a mistake opening your mouth”. Oh god, if this punk doesn’t end up in several pieces at the bottom of the ocean by the time this is over, I’m asking for a goddammed refund.

[Editor’s Note: You didn’t actually pay anything.]

WELL THEN I’LL ASK FOR THAT BACK, WON’T I.

As Julian leaves, he stops to tell the foreboding men with plastic wrap what they should cover. “Well, actually, we already knew all that, it’s our only damn job, but thanks, I guess.”

Back with the doctor, he’s arrived at the big Lambrick Manor, and we’re back to the game! Lambrick and his stupid pouty fucking moustache are back, and we start with Iris: Would you rather stab the Crabman with an ice pick, or whip Pointy Nose with an African whipping stick?

(I’m assuming whipping Lambrick right in the moustache is out of the question? Pretty please?)

Oh, come on, we all know he deserves it!

Pointy Nose nominates himself, because we haven’t seen him get hurt yet, and she manages to leave three bloody gouges in his back. Jesus, what, is his skin made out of rice paper?

It’s Victor’s turn, and he’s given the question: Would you rather stab Iris in the thigh… or whip Pointy Nose three more times? Victor chooses Pointy Nose again, and… you know, Iris, all of the other likable characters have offered to get chosen to spare someone else? Maybe you want to give that a try?

It’s another sign that her so called “hero complex” is nothing more than convenient selfishness. Iris came to the party to “save” her brother because she doesn’t want to take care of him any more, and she refuses to accept any ‘choice’ from the game, because she doesn’t want to get hurt.

Victor shrugs his shoulders, and because hurting the main character is against the rules, gives Pointy Nose three more whacks. Now it’s his turn, and he’s asked, would he rather stab Victor in the thigh, or accept three more whacks, this time from the Butler?

Wow, this is just not your day, huh.

He says he’ll take the whips, and despite Victor begging that he’ll take the stabbing, he ends up sobbing on the table once again. Victor looks at this mangled husk of a man, and says, with utter seriousness, “He needs medical attention”.

NO FUCKING DUH.

“Sir, it is of my professional opinion that you done got fucked up, yo.”

And with that oh so pleasant note, we bring the first half of our Would I Rather review to a close! How will it end? Will the doctor finally have something to do with the plot? Will Amy and Julian and Lambrick be killed in some bizarre grain thresher accident? Will Iris ever actually fucking DO something?! 

How the fuck should I know! I haven’t seen the movie yet! Stop badgering me!

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3 Responses to “Would I Rather Review This, Or Shoot Myself? A “Would You Rather” Review”

  1. Tim Hurley November 11, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    Character studies and an in-depth analysis of a torture porn? Bargin bin Jigsaw? Tying people to beds and…. OH MY GOD THAT KITTEN IS CUUUUUTTTEEE!

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