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Cheap Thrills

March 21, 2014

directed by E.L. Katz, 2013

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While there’s no telling how original or shocking Cheap Thrills might have seemed if it had been released a few decades earlier, E.L. Katz’s film shows no shame in arriving fashionably late to the table of sadistic social satire. Having won the Audience Award and Best First Feature prize at last year’s South by Southwest film festival, Cheap Thrills works best as a solid showcase for its handful of character actors who breeze right through the familiar material, selling it persuasively at every turn. What Katz’s film lacks in nuance, it mildly makes up for in its timely portrait of bankrupt morals and escalating violence amid financial ruin. If Austrian auteur Michael Haneke offered a measured and clinical look into class divisions and audience chastising in both his 1997 and 2007 versions of Funny GamesCheap Thrills offers the cartoony midnight-movie inverse of that template, with mixed results.

Read full review at In Review Online

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