Sometimes a simple idea for a film works really well, and to be honest the premise of this film is excellent. A rich family foundation invites desperate people for dinner, and gets them to partake in a rather nasty and violent game of would you rather. However instead of would you rather snog your teacher or your dog, these poor contestants have to decide on such things as stabbing someone else at the table in the leg or beating someone else with a big stick, And this is just the start of it. There can only be one winner and that means at every round of the game at least one person must die.
Essentially this is a one set film which lends it a great sense of claustrophobia, and with each new round of the game not intended for all the family the fear and tension mounts. However all sense of fear and terror is totally lost thanks to the performances of three of the main leads. Lets start with Bevans, the big heavy of the film. Jonny Coynes performance as the muscle man / thug would have even the most dastardly pantomime villain cringing with embarrassment.
Over the top and lacking any subtlety
his performance reminds you of a gorilla in suit.
Coynes performance is almost out done by that of Charlie Hofheimer who plays the snotty son of the rich family. Imagine every obnoxious kid in every film ever made and that's his character. To be fair there is very little that he can do with such an over written character. At least the audience has a figure of hate that they can aim their distaste for the film at.
However, it is Jeffrey Combs performance as the figurehead of the family that really takes all the prizes as the worst performance in a horror film ever. I don;t know what Combs was on when making this film, but he better think about cutting the dose. Every word, every pose, every little acting nuance is blown up into an over performance that makes you laugh every time he opens his mouth. It's as though your dad has just been ripped of the streets and been given the acting direction of "go over the top, don't worry about looking like a fool".
Which is a pity as the film had so much potential, the last woman standing premise of the film is one which is still sadly underused in horror films, but all attempts to address this and give us a strong female lead are wasted by the three stooges like performance of the three male leads.
I won't even go into the logic of the last man standing takes all the money and never ever goes to the cops. The film has more holes of logic than you can shake a stick at. Which could be forgiven if the film had even the smallest amount of heart. I get that the filmmakers where going for bleak, and they certainly pulled that off, but the final scene was just once scene too far. It turned the whole film into just another sleazy torture porn film. A really misguided move, I reckon the filmmakers were thinking they were all smart and clever for doing it, well sorry you weren't guts you came across as a bunch of tits.