Cheap Thrills (2013)

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German title Cheap thrills
Original title Cheap thrills
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2013
length 85 minutes
Age rating FSK 18
Director EL Katz
script David Chirchirillo ,
Trent Haaga
production Gabriel Cowan ,
Travis Stevens ,
John Suits
music Mads Heldtberg
camera Andrew Wheeler ,
Sebastian Wintero Hansen
cut Brody Gusar

Cheap Thrills is an American thriller with black humor elements from 2013 , which celebrated its world premiere on March 8, 2013 at the South by Southwest Film Festival. Directed by EL Katz ; the script was written by David Chirchirillo and Trent Haaga .


Craig is dissatisfied with his salary as an auto mechanic and can hardly pay his rent with it, which is why his family is about to be evicted. As if that wasn't enough, he'll also be fired. Depressed and his wife to tell full of fear of denunciation, he goes to a tavern , where he happened to an old high school -Freund Vince hits. You get to know a wealthy couple, Colin and Violet, who at first appear friendly and benign. When they realize that Craig is in dire financial straits, Colin offers him money to do certain tasks. Colin wants to entertain Violet, who has birthday. The tasks start out harmlessly: Colin gives whoever dumps his short first 50 dollars, which Vince then also gets. For another 200 dollars, Craig is supposed to get a slap in the face from an attractive lady, but Vince gets her because Craig doesn't dare. Craig slowly begins to understand that he might even need the money and hits a bouncer for $ 500, who hits back immediately. Craig wakes up from his unconsciousness with the couple who are celebrating with Vince at home.

Craig tries to leave, but Colin stops him with a new bet. Vince hits Craig in the stomach to win during a hold-breath competition between Craig and Vince. As a result, the ruthlessness between the two slowly increases. After Vince urinates on Craig's shoes and pants for money, Craig goes into the bathroom, offended. Vince follows him and tells him about $ 250,000 in an open safe. The two hatch a plan on how best to rob the couple. The plan goes awry when Violet unpacks her gun and Colin overpowers Vince. The couple stays calm, however, and agrees to let the past rest if Craig and Vince behave well. They even want to give them all the money if they keep playing.

Now the tasks are made more extreme. Craig gets $ 4,500 for having sex with Violet, which he then accepts with a guilty conscience because the money would prevent the eviction. Vince is upset because he thinks the bet is unfair. With a guilty conscience for cheating on his wife, Craig withdraws from the game and heads home as the money is enough to prevent the eviction. Violet seems to develop feelings for Craig and pulls back angrily because the game has ended. In order to win a little more money, Vince desperately offers to do whatever is asked of him. Colin proposes amputation of the little finger for $ 25,000. As Vince is about to make the bet, Craig shows up again, realizing that $ 4,500 will only save him from the current situation, but will not be enough for the future. Craig then offers to do the same task for significantly less money. After constant undercutting between Craig and Vince, Craig accepts the task for $ 15,000 and has Vince amputate his little finger with a hatchet.

For another $ 50,000, the couple host a dinner contest in which both have to eat dog meat. Since the outcome is a tie, there is a jump-off. The first to eat Craig's amputated finger gets the money, which Craig manages. Vince then beats Craig up completely and goes out with Colin to calm down. Colin offers him $ 250,000 if he kills Craig. After everyone is back in the house, Vince sneaks up on Craig to kill him, but he can't. After Vince saw pictures of Craig and himself on a slide show, which Violet took with her cell phone during the evening, he sees through the game and wants to leave. But Craig gets ahead of him and shoots him. Craig leaves the couple with over $ 300,000, who thanks them again for the party. Colin gives Violet $ 50 for choosing the right winner. Craig goes home and is covered in blood with his little screaming son in his arms. His wife wakes up and looks into the camera with crying eyes.


After the premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival, an auction for the distribution rights took place. Drafthouse Films and Snoot Entertainment have also announced their intention to show the film in a few selected cinemas and VOD services. Among other things, Cheap Thrills is available on Netflix and also appeared on DVD and Blu-ray in the USA on May 27, 2014. In Germany, the unabridged version was published by Koch Media on March 20, 2014. A 38-minute making-of is also included as an extra.


Cheap Thrills achieved a Metascore of 64/100 points at Metacritic , based on 22 ratings. At Rotten Tomatoes , 89% of the reviews are positive and are therefore “certified fresh” ( German certified fresh ). The average rating is 6.9 / 10 points, based on 88 ratings.  

The film-dienst describes Cheap Thrills as "a dark and bloody debut film as a contemporary, but rather striking reflection of a cynical society". John DeFore of Hollywood Reporter finds that Cheap Thrills "is a cinematic of the most captivating work misanthropy for years."



  • 2013: Audience Award in the Midnighters category at the South by Southwest Film Festival
  • 2013: New Flesh Award for EL Katz in the category Best Debut Film at the Fantasia International Film Festival
  • 2013: Director's Award for EL Katz in the Best Picture category at the Boston Underground Film Festival

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Drafthouse Films Picks Up 'Cheap Thrills' In First Deal Of SXSW 2013 . In: . March 11, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  2. OFDb (Cheap Thrills DVD Version) . In: OFDb . Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  3. ^ Cheap Thrills Reviews . In: Metacritic . Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  4. ^ Cheap Thrills Reviews . In: Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  5. Cheap Thrills short review . In: film service . Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved November 5, 2014. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. SXSW Audience Award winner (pdf) . In: . Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved November 5, 2014. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. FANTASIA 2013 AWARD WINNERS! . In: . Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  8. 2013 Bacchus Awards at BUFF 15 . In: . Archived from the original on November 5, 2014. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved November 5, 2014. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /