Posts Tagged ‘Cheap Thrills’

NerveNerve had the good fortune to be released in the same week that Pokémon Go may have crested. The underlying conceit of the film is that a game app for smart phones could be so alluring that it would drive users outside to play it. What once could have been dismissed as satiric science fiction is now an established fact. If you doubt the potential power of apps, go to any urban area and watch for the folks holding their phones slightly above waist level as they shuffle forward and swipe, occasionally breaking the spell to shout, “I got a Jigglypuff!”

The app in the film is called Nerve, but it could be called Dare or I Bet You. Users register as players or watchers (the latter forking over $19.99 for a 24-hour window). Players are challenged to complete tasks directly tied to personal phobias culled from data mining online profiles. Predictably, there’s a good bit of being in public naked and almost falling off tall buildings. Complete the dare and a deposit is made in your bank account. Fail or bail, and you lose everything. Oh, and don’t forget – snitches get stitches, so don’t tell your mom or the cops. (more…)

1397895448_33There are two things working against 13 Sins, the new thriller in which a man becomes an unwitting contestant on a game show that compels him to engage in increasingly antisocial behavior. The first is the film’s own weaknesses, beginning with uneven performances, implausible assumptions, and threadbare plot points. The second disadvantage – and the one over which the filmmakers had no control – is the recent wide release of Cheap Thrills, a far superior entry in the “What would you be willing to do for a buck?” genre.