Would You Rather is a horror flick that, while effective, has a few flaws.
The simple plot is that Shepard Lambrick (deliciously played by Jeffrey Combs) has invited 8 people to his house to engage in a deadly game of "Would You Rather." The person we get to see make this journey is Iris, as played by Brittany Snow. Her brother needs a bone marrow transplant, their house is up for sale, and school is no longer an option. This game is her best shot at keeping her head above water.
Once the game starts, the movie hits on all cylinders. You're sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to see how each player is either eliminated or moves on. The tension stays strong throughout... except when Lawrence Gilliard as Dr. Barden shows up. Dr. Barden is the guy who recommends Iris for the game, but then he gets second thoughts. As you watch the movie, you realize his character is completely unnecessary. In fact, every time the movie cuts to him, it actually slows the pace down.
That's one of the bad things about the film. The other bad thing - it took me about two minutes in to see where things were going. It cast a bit of a pall on the proceedings.
But the things that work, yeah, they work well. Like I said, the pace of the film is spot-on. It does what good movies do, and it builds slowly. The big reveal of how serious the game is takes some time to get to, but that's because we're given the time to see how desperate Iris is to get to this point. The other main thing that works - the acting. Every one of the actors seems like they're giving it their all. What could simply be a fun exploitation movie is elevated by the actors, as they manage to create rich characters with the smallest of screen time. I can't really think of a slacker in the main group. And, for me, it's always great to see Crab Man (Eddie Steeples) in anything.
I would rate this higher, because of all the positives, but I just find it frustrating that I figured out the trajectory of the story so early on, that it clouds my view of the whole thing. Well worth a watch if you dig this sort of thing (and you know who you are), but once is enough for me, I think.