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, Sasha Grey, and Robin Lord Taylor.

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 alcoholic, 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 chooses the scotch and downs all of it, but it turns out he's quite an angry drunk, resulting in him being killed for refusing to cooperate and continue playing.
  • 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 cornered in the basement and attacked by Lambrick's son Julian.
  • Ax-Crazy: Julian, Lambrick's psychotic and hyperactive son. Of course, while more subtlety than him, Lambrick is also this.
  • 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.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Lambrick at first looks like a suave and affable philantrophist willing to help people who absolutely need money. In truth, he's a sadist and overly evil man who likes to toy with people and relishing in their misery.
  • Black Comedy: The moment when Lambrick tells Bevens "Maybe next year," in regards to Iris not choosing her card which would have had all her teeth pulled. The little shrug Bevens gives in regards to his disappointment is a much needed moment of levity after quite a dark movie.
  • Boom, Headshot: Dr. Barden's fate.
  • Broken Bird: Amy, as a result of her child having been killed in the past.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Iris wins, only to return home to find that her brother Raleigh, who she did this for, has committed suicide.
  • Deadly Game: The entire premise is a high stakes, horrible game of Would You Rather.
  • 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.
  • The Dragon: Bevan, Lambrick's butler and the chief of security.
  • Driven to Suicide: Raleigh, feeling that his illness has made him a burden on his sister Iris, kills himself, having no clue about the near-literal hell she puts herself through at Lambrick’s for him.
  • 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, as depicted in one of the movie posters. He does.
  • Evil Laugh: Lambrick often does this.
  • Evil All Along: Shep appears as a good guy, using his wealth to help the less fortunate with their money problems. It's all just a sham; he's just luring in poor people to kill themselves for his entertainment.
  • 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.
  • In the Blood: Julian Lambrick is every bit as sociopathic as his father.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Iris by the end of the movie, as she becomes willing to commit murder in order to get what she wants.
  • 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.
  • Lack of Empathy: Lambrick, all the time. His only concern is to play his game for his own entertainment, uncaring of all the pain and trauma he gives to his "guests". When his son Julian is stabbed in the leg he's angry at him for having interrupt the game. At the end after Iris wins by very remorsefully killing Lucas, Lambrick keeps his word by giving her the money but the fact that Iris will have to live with the guilt and trauma all her life leaves him totally unfazed. In fact, it makes him very happy.
  • 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 Iris 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. It doesn’t end well for him, though...
  • Mythology Gag: The film is presented by the "Lambrick Foundation."
  • Pet the Dog: As horrible as he is, Lambrick does holds up his end of the bargain with the winner of the game. On the other hand, considering that Iris is psychologically shocked about the experience, and Lambrick knows it fully well, it's quite doubtful it's genuine generosity.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: 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: The film's plot is literally this trope.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Travis, mentioned in passing but not elaborated upon - unless you count the game rounds when one of the choices is to inflict greater and greater levels of torture on him.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Iris goes through all of this Hell to help find money for her ill brother's treatment. She wins and returns home to find that her brother has committed suicide.
  • Smug Snake: Julian. What really drives this home is the fact that he cowers and hides under the table when the guests attempt to turn the tables on Lambrick and his mooks.
  • The Sociopath: Both of the Lambricks. They see poor people not as people but as toys that they can destroy for their own entertainment, and show absolutely zero remorse for the amount of suffering and death they cause.
  • The Tooth Hurts: Averted. Iris chooses to have her head dunked underwater, and it is stated that had she chosen the envelope, she'd have had all her teeth pulled (Bevan appears quite sad at this news, but is assured "maybe next time" by Lambrick).
  • 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.