Friday, 14 June 2013

15 Second Review: Would you Rather (2012)

Torture porn lives! Would you Rather distils many of the subgenre’s key facets. The film is set in a restricted location and focuses on the protagonists’ capacity to inflict suffering on fellow humans. More than most other torture porn films, Would you Rather is quite literal about posing ethical questions, asking the coerced protagonists to choose whether self-interest is enough to stimulate immoral behaviours. Would you Rather’s trailer gives away most of what occurs within. In the main, the film’s bluntness detracts from the viewing experience, leaving less space for ethical rumination than most torture porn films offer. That said, the movie certainly underlines that torture porn is a subgenre driven by moral questions rather than gory displays (as its detractors so commonly and erroneously posit). Would you Rather also pertinently distils the ethos that I underline in my forthcoming book: that torture porn constitutes a form of  philosophy in action. Doubters should read Michael Sandel’s What Money Can’t Buy:  The Moral Limits of Markets – an explicit call for public engagement with philosophical rumination - then watching Would You Rather: both raise uncannily similar questions, albeit in very different ways.

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