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Synopsis: Cheap Thrills follows Craig (Pat Healy, Compliance), a struggling family man who loses his low-wage job and is threatened with eviction. In an effort to delay facing the music at home, he heads to a local bar and encounters an old friend (Ethan Embry, Empire Records). The two friends are roped into a round of drinks by a charismatic and obscenely wealthy stranger (David Koechner, Anchorman 2) along with his mysterious wife (Sara Paxton, The Inkeepers). The couple engages the two friends in a series of innocent dares in exchange for money over the course of the evening, with each challenge upping the ante in both reward and boundaries. It seems like easy and much needed money, but the couple’s twisted sense of humor pushes just how far Craig and his friend are willing to go for money and cheap thrills.


Comedy, Crime, Drama





Run Time

88 minutes


Pat Healy (Craig)
Ethan Embry (Vince)
Sara Paxton (Violet)
David Koechner (Colin)
Amanda Fuller (Audrey)

Directed by

E.L. Katz

Written by

David Chirchirillo
Trent Haaga

Produced by

Gabriel Cowan
Travis Stevens
John Suits

Executive Producer

Curtis Raines
Jonathan Schurgin
Gena Wilbur

Edited by

Brody Gusar


Mads Heldtberg

Production Designer

Melisa Jusufi


Andrew Wheeler
Sebastian Winterø

Prod. Company

New Artists Alliance - www.naafilms.com


SXSW Film Festival - USA - 2013

Audience Award, Midnight Films (Travis Stevens, Gabriel Cowan, E.L. Katz, John Suits, Pat Healy)

Málaga International Week of Fantastic Cinema - Spain - 2013

Best Screenplay (Trent Haaga (writer), David Chirchirillo (writer) 2013)

Fantasia Film Festival - Canada - 2013

Jury Prize for Best First Film (E.L. Katz)

Chicago International Film Festival - USA - 2013

Gold Hugo - After Dark Competition (E.L. Katz (director))

Boston Underground Film Festival - USA - 2013

Director's Award for Best Feature (E.L. Katz)

Fright Meter Awards - USA - 2014

Best Actor (Pat Healy)

CinEuphoria Awards - International - 2014

Best Ensemble - International Competition (Cheap Thrills)

CinEuphoria Awards - International - 2014

Freedom of Expression - Honorary Award (E.L. Katz (director))

Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival - Netherlands - 2014

Imagine Movie Zone Award (E.L. Katz (director))


Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival - Estonia - 2013

Best North American Independent Film

Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival - Spain - 2013

Maria, Best Motion Picture

Fright Meter Awards - USA - 2014

Best Screenplay

Fright Meter Awards - USA - 2014

Best Horror Movie

Fright Meter Awards - USA - 2014

Best Supporting Actor

iHorror Awards - USA - 2015

Best Indie Horror Film


Gird your stomach for Cheap Thrills, a bloody but enjoyably ironic horror which enters that queasy zone where Michael Haneke's Funny Games meets a reality-TV bush tucker trial. - Kate Muir , Times (UK)

It's a thought-provoking ride, particularly in a post-financial crisis world where a combination of desperation and temptation can make anyone consider doing the unthinkable. - Jeremy Aspinall , London Evening Standard

The script is smarter than the premise sounds, with writers David Chirchirillo and Trent Haaga dispensing enough information to make victims both sympathetic and despicable, the instigators charismatic and sinister. - Leslie Felperin , Guardian

There are satisfying echoes of Stephen King's sly black humour in this deliciously nasty comedy thriller. - Nigel Floyd , Time Out

Screenwriters David Chirchirillo and Trent Haaga pose a simple question -- how much will a person degrade himself to make ends meet? -- but it's a potent one, at least for those of us who ponder it every Monday through Friday. - J. R. Jones , Chicago Reader


Rotten Tomatoes - Certified Fresh - 89% Tomatometer - [Rotten Tomatoes]

Country of Origin


Production Year


Aspect Ratio

2.35 : 1

Sound Mix

Dolby Digital


Arri Alexa, Zeiss Super Speed Lenses

Official Website

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