Craig is suffering. His wife is out of work, taking care of their infant son, and they’re months behind on rent. To make matters worse, he’s just been laid off. Not wanting to face his wife, Craig hits up a dive bar where he runs into Vince, an old friend from High School who now makes his money breaking people’s arms if they don’t pay off their debts. As Craig prepares to leave the bar, he and Vince are roped into having a round of drinks with a very wealthy hipster couple. Colin wants to celebrate his beautiful wife Violet’s birthday, by taking her to the seedier side of town. In order to amuse themselves, Colin engages them all in a series of innocuous bar bets and challenges. Whoever can drink a shot quickest makes fifty bucks, whoever can get a bar patron to slap them gets a hundred… and it continues on like that, with the challenges increasing in both money and outrageousness, because Colin and Violet know no limits. Cheap Thrills was one of last year’s darlings on the festival circuit and rightly so. This deliciously sadistic comedy thriller from debut director Evan Katz shows in all gory detail how far we’re willing to go “for a fistful of dollars”. Just when you think you can’t take it anymore, Katz ups the ante and leads us to a devastating, intolerable climax. With an excellent script by Troma writer Trent Haaga and stand out performances from Pat Healy ( Ghost World ) and Ethan Embry ( Harold & Kumar ) as Craig and Vince and from David Koechner ( Anchorma ) and Sara Paxton ( The Innkeepers ) as Colin and Violet.

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