As a genre that thrives on the onscreen slaying of unknown talent, singular sets, and cost-effective practical effects, horror is perfect for indie filmmakers with a low budget but unique vision. Newly formed production company Snowfort Pictures has been churning out thrillers and horror features since 2010 starting with Adam Wingard's A Horrible Way to Die, and recently has drawn buzz for the 2012 SXSW pick The Aggression Scale and The Thompsons, which won a spot at the 2012 Fright Fest. Next up for the up-and-coming company is Cheap Thrills, a freaky feature that will mark the directorial debut of E.L. Katz, an established genre producer and screenwriter.

While Snowfort Pictures is taking a risk with a first-time filmmaker here, THR reports they are giving him a solid foundation, pulling together a cast that includes Ethan Embry (Vacancy), David Koechner (Piranha 3DD), Amanda Fuller (Red White & Blue), and the stars of Ti West's The Innkeepers, Pat Healy and Sara Paxton.

Penned by Deadgirl scribe Trent Haaga, Cheap Thrills centers on a foursome made up of a wealthy couple and a cash-strapped father paired with his high school friend. Together they play a series of demented dare-based games that test their pain thresholds and personal ethics in exchange for some serious cash prizes. Unfortunately, the news item makes no mention of which roles the actors will play, but whatever way the casting comes down, I'm looking forward to seeing this ensemble dig deeper into horror.

Cheap Thrills goes into production this week in Los Angeles.

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