The Price We Pay Film Review 2023 Movie

Movie Bunker Score:

The Price We Pay: A Roller Coaster Thriller with Self-Awareness

The Price We Pay, directed by RyÅ«hei Kitamura, is a thrilling film that caters to its audience’s preferences, understanding how to keep them entertained throughout. It exudes a sense of self-awareness, almost like a concoction created by a group of teenage boys who have just watched Barbarian, Halloween, Tetsuo: The Iron Man, and Parasite, and decided to blend the elements of these films into one. However, this should not be taken as a criticism; instead, it is a testament to how The Price We Pay embraces its low-brow nature, resulting in a movie that delivers what viewers expect and ensures a great time for those who know what they’re getting into.

A Prologue that Sets the Tone

The film begins with a prologue set in the American southwest, seemingly detached from the subsequent scenes. We are introduced to Carly (Sabrina Mach), a prostitute who finds herself abandoned at a remote truck stop after an unfavorable transaction with a client. Director Kitamura, working from Christopher Jolley’s script, employs a lack of subtlety in this scene, using extreme wide shots to emphasize the isolation and hint at a malevolent force just outside the frame. As a cat-and-mouse game unfolds, the scene is bathed in soft neon colors, accentuated by jarring jump cuts that intentionally keep the audience off-balance. This bold approach effectively establishes the movie’s tone, leaving viewers with a clear understanding of what is to come when Carly is eventually abducted by the mysterious figure.

The Unveiling of the Protagonist

Contrary to expectations, Carly is not the central character of The Price We Pay, as we discover in the subsequent scene. We are introduced to Grace (Gigi Zumbado), a young woman struggling to make ends meet and pay her rent in the same region as Carly’s ordeal. At her landlord’s pawn shop, Grace unwittingly becomes a witness to a robbery carried out by three masked assailants, resulting in the death of the employees and the landlord. In a twist of fate, she becomes a hostage and getaway driver for the fourth man, who flees the scene prematurely. The film presents an efficiently written sequence wherein Grace battles for her survival while the three robbers argue among themselves. Alex (Emile Hirsch), one of the assailants, advocates for killing her to avoid complications, while Cody (Stephen Dorff) urges caution. The deteriorating health of Alex’s brother Shane (Tanner Zagarino), who was gravely injured during the robbery, compels the group to seek refuge in a remote ranch house.

A Journey into Sinister Territory

At this point, revealing additional details about The Price We Pay without venturing into spoiler territory is challenging. Like some of the films mentioned earlier, this particular thriller heavily relies on a midpoint twist that transforms the narrative from something reminiscent of Hell or High Water into a much darker and more sinister realm—a domain that showcases Kitamura’s expertise in crafting intense gore scenes, as well as sheds light on the script’s weaknesses. Notably, Emile Hirsch delivers an outstanding performance, embodying the captivating madness akin to Jake Gyllenhaal’s character in Ambulance, while infusing each line delivery with a delightful touch of campiness. As the movie approaches its fiftieth minute, it may lose some momentum; however, it is Hirsch’s frantic energy that propels the story forward.

Understanding Viewer Expectations

While The Price We Pay may not position itself as a horror cinema masterpiece, it effectively grasps the expectations of its audience. Kitamura acknowledges that the primary appeal lies in the movie’s fast pace, the ever-growing sense of dread, and the horror elements that dominate the latter half of the film. In this respect, he successfully delivers a fun and brutal viewing experience—one best enjoyed with a sizable bowl of popcorn and a group of friends who have no inkling of what awaits them.

The Price We Pay is set to hit select US theaters on January 13, 2023, and will be available on Video on Demand (VOD) starting January 10, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How would you describe The Price We Pay?

The Price We Pay is a thrilling roller coaster of a movie, combining elements from various genres to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

2. Who are the standout performers in the film?

Emile Hirsch delivers an exceptional performance, showcasing his talent for portraying characters that captivate and entertain viewers. His portrayal conveys a sense of madness similar to that seen in Jake Gyllenhaal’s character in Ambulance.

3. Is The Price We Pay a horror film?

While not strictly a horror film, The Price We Pay does incorporate horror elements that become more prominent in the latter half of the movie, enhancing the suspense and sense of dread.

4. Can you provide more details about the midpoint twist?

Exploring the midpoint twist would involve revealing spoilers that could significantly impact the viewing experience. However, it is worth mentioning that the twist takes the narrative into a much darker and more sinister territory.

5. When is The Price We Pay available for viewing?

The Price We Pay will be released in select US theaters on January 13, 2023, and will also be available on Video on Demand (VOD) starting January 10, 2023.