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Film / Would You Rather

The Fancy Dinner from hell.

A 2012 horror film directed by David Guy Levy, starring Brittany Snow (who also co-executive produced), Jeffrey Combs, John Heard, Enver Gjokaj, and Sasha Grey.

Unemployed, cash-strapped, and with terminally-ill brother Raleigh in need of a bone marrow transplant, Iris (Snow) accepts a dinner invitation from mysterious rich guy Shep Lambrick (Combs) to compete for the financial aid they desperately need. It turns out that the titular game forces each participant to choose from one of two increasingly unpleasant choices.

This film provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Conway is a recovered drinker - but Lambrick challenges him to drink a glass of wine for $10,000 - or an entire decanter of top-shelf Scotch in exchange for $50,000. Conway eventually opts for the Scotch. However...
  • And You Thought It Was a Game: Everyone realizes this around the time that Conway attempts to leave the party - and is shot dead.
  • Attempted Rape: At one point, Iris tries to escape - only to be corner in the basement and attacked by Lambrick's son Julian.
  • Bald of Evil: Bevan the butler. Battle Butler, more precisely.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Dr. Barden show up just in time to stop Julian's Attempted Rape of Iris. Subverted when Bevan shoots him dead.
  • Boom, Headshot: Dr. Barden's fate.
  • Downer Ending: Iris, having survived until the end, is told that a donor has been provided for Raleigh...only for her to return home and find that Raleigh has committed suicide.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Amy. Her sullen, sarcastic behavior borders on the Gloomy Goth archtype.
  • Electric Torture: An early round of the game involves delivering an electric shock to either yourself, or the person sitting next to you.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Invoked almost verbatim by Lambrick at the beginning of the evening.
  • Eye Scream: One of Lucas' options is to slice his own eyeball open. He does.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The elder Lambrick acts polite at first to the "contestants" but quickly reveals he sees them as less than people who only exist for his amusement.
  • Hate Sink: Julian. In contrast to his Faux Affably Evil father, he's openly cruel to the contestants, referring to them as "pigs" and making light of their situation. There's also his Attempted Rape of Iris.
  • Hidden Depths: For most of the movie, Amy is shown to be a cruel and coldhearted survivalist who is willing to do whatever she has to do to win. By the end however we get a brief look into her backstory when Shepard mentions how her husband had drowned their daughter.
  • Hypocrite: Early on, Shep Lambrick scolds Julian for his unethical behavior at a previous "game", telling him that they are supposed to let events unfold without getting involved. Later, however, Shep shoots and kills one of the contestants.
  • I Have a Family: Invoked by Lucas when he and Iris are the last contestants, and Iris's choice is either they both walk out empty-handed, or she shoots him and wins the game. See Pyrrhic Victory/Downer Ending.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Peter, a gambler, thinks he has outsmarted Lambrick when, given the choice between having your head held underwater for two minutes or chancing what's in a sealed envelope, he explains why the envelope is the safe bet. In fact, the envelope choice is to have a firecrack explode in your hand. Unfortunately for Peter, the "firecrack" in question is a massive M-80 duct-taped to his hand - most of which he loses in the explosion.
  • Karma Houdini: Shep Lambrick gets away with his sadistic "games" and presumably continues to host them. While Julian gets stabbed in the leg, he still largely gets off without any punishment.
  • Large Ham: Lambrick.
  • Meat Versus Veggies: When the main course of foie gras and prime rib arrives at the table, Iris politely informs Lambrick that she's a vegetarian. Lambrick, in turn, offers her $10,000 in cash to break her veggie ways. After a moment's hesitation, she does.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Raleigh's physician, Dr. Barden, is the one who introduces her to Lambrick - despite having misgivings. Eventually he has enough of a change of heart to grab a gun and infiltrate Lambrick's mansion in an attempt to save her.
  • Mythology Gag: The film is presented by the "Lambrick Foundation."
  • Pyrrhic Victory/Downer Ending: Iris wins the game, along with Raleigh's bone-marrow treatment and enough cash to get out of debt. But when she returns home, she finds that he has committed suicide rather than continue to be a burden on her...
  • Sadistic Choice: Most of the later rounds of the game.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Travis, mentioned in passing but not elaborated upon - unless your count the game rounds when one of the choices is to inflict greater and greater levels of torture on him.
  • Smug Snake: Julian.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Julian disappears from the movie after Bevans catches him trying to rape Iris during her escape from the basement. She stabs him in the leg with an ice pick and he is apparently taken to his room to sit out the rest of the game. He isn't seen again. Travis's ultimate fate is also unconfirmed after he's taken out of the game from being whipped so many times that he has passed out. It's more than likely however that he didn't survive.