Where to Watch "Cheap Thrills"


Directed by

E.L. Katz

Lila Sommers
Lila Sommers
· 5 min read

Who's in it?

Pat Healy

Pat Healy

Ethan Embry

Ethan Embry

Sara Paxton

Sara Paxton

David Koechner

David Koechner

Amanda Fuller

Amanda Fuller

Laura Covelli

Laura Covelli

Elissa Dowling

Elissa Dowling

Eric Neil Gutierrez

Sam Ketcherside

"Cheap Thrills," a dark comedy thriller released in 2013, directed by E.L. Katz, is a gripping exploration of desperation and the lengths people are willing to go for financial gain. With its intense narrative and thought-provoking themes, the film delivers a visceral experience that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

Release Date and Director: "Cheap Thrills" premiered on March 8, 2013, at the SXSW Film Festival. Directed by E.L. Katz, known for his work in the horror genre, the film garnered attention for its unique blend of suspense, black comedy, and social commentary.


The story follows Craig Daniels (Pat Healy), a struggling family man facing financial hardships. After losing his job, Craig runs into an old friend, Vince (Ethan Embry), at a bar.

The two encounter a wealthy couple, Colin (David Koechner) and Violet (Sara Paxton), who propose a series of increasingly bizarre and dangerous challenges with escalating monetary rewards.

As the night progresses, the dares push the boundaries of morality, testing the characters' limits and revealing the darker aspects of human nature.

Significance, Themes, and Why You Should Watch:

"Cheap Thrills" stands out for its unflinching exploration of the human psyche when faced with extreme circumstances. The film delves into themes of morality, desperation, and the consequences of unchecked ambition.

Its intense atmosphere and thought-provoking narrative make it a must-watch for those seeking a gripping psychological thriller that lingers in the mind long after the credits roll.

Where to Stream

United States (US):

There are currently no streaming offers in the US.

  • Streaming Options: Shudder Amazon Channel, Fandor Amazon Channel
  • Buying Options: Apple TV, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Microsoft Store, Redbox, Alamo on Demand
  • Free Options: None

Australia (AU):

There are currently no streaming offers in the AU.

  • Streaming Options: None
  • Buying Options: Apple TV, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Quickflix Store
  • Free Options: None

United Kingdom (GB):

There are currently no streaming offers in the GB.

  • Streaming Options: Shudder Amazon Channel
  • Buying Options: Apple TV, Amazon Video
  • Free Options: None

Germany (DE):

There are currently no streaming offers in the DE.

  • Streaming Options: Superfresh Amazon Channel
  • Buying Options: Apple TV, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Sky Store, Rakuten TV, maxdome Store, MagentaTV
  • Free Options: None

Spain (ES):

There are currently no streaming offers in the ES.

  • Streaming Options: Acontra Plus, Acontra Plus Amazon Channel
  • Buying Options: Acontra Plus
  • Free Options: None

Canada (CA):

There are currently no streaming offers in the CA.

  • Streaming Options: None
  • Buying Options: Apple TV
  • Free Options: None

Production Details:

Directed by E.L. Katz, "Cheap Thrills" benefits from the collaboration of producers Travis Stevens, Gabriel Cowan, and John Suits. The screenplay, written by David Chirchirillo and Trent Haaga, skillfully balances the tension and dark humor that define the film.

Filming took place in Los Angeles, capturing the gritty and claustrophobic atmosphere essential to the story. The production faced challenges in creating a suspenseful and believable narrative within a confined space, but the filmmakers succeeded in delivering a compelling and visceral experience.

Made on a relatively low budget, "Cheap Thrills" exemplifies the potential of independent cinema, proving that gripping storytelling and strong performances can compensate for financial constraints.

Reception and Awards:

"Cheap Thrills" received critical acclaim for its originality, intense atmosphere, and standout performances, particularly from Pat Healy and David Koechner. Critics praised the film's ability to keep audiences engaged and on the edge of their seats.

Audiences responded positively to the film's unique premise and gripping execution, establishing "Cheap Thrills" as a cult favorite within the thriller genre. While it didn't amass a multitude of awards, the film earned recognition for its impact and ingenuity.

Trivia and Fun Facts:

  • The cast's chemistry, coupled with the tight script, contributed to the film's success, elevating it beyond its modest budget.
  • David Koechner, known for his comedic roles, delivered a standout performance as the enigmatic and wealthy Colin, showcasing his versatility as an actor.

Controversies and Interesting Stories:

The film's controversial themes and intense sequences sparked discussions about morality and the psychological toll of financial desperation. "Cheap Thrills" prompted audiences to reflect on the choices characters make under extreme circumstances, stirring both fascination and discomfort.

In conclusion, "Cheap Thrills" is a masterclass in suspenseful storytelling, offering a dark and thought-provoking exploration of human behavior. With its captivating plot, stellar performances, and impactful themes, the film solidifies its place as a standout entry in the thriller genre, leaving audiences with a lasting sense of unease and contemplation.

Lila Sommers

About Lila Sommers

Lila is your media maven with a passion for the extraordinary! Spot her at the local bookstore or crafting her own stories on lazy Sunday afternoons. From indie flicks to hidden gem tracks, Lila's knack for weaving words and tunes is unmatched, making her your ultimate companion in the exciting world of media and entertainment.

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