Truth or Dare?
Directed By: Jeff Wadlow
Starring: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Hayden Szeto, Sophia Ali, Nolan Gerard Funk, Landon Liboiron, Sam Lerner, Aurora Perrineau, et.al.
While with her friends in Mexico on spring break, Olivia meets Carter, an attractive stranger who promises to take the group to nearby party. After bringing them to a remote, abandon mission, he challenges them all to a game of Truth or Dare, which they reluctantly agree to. As the game progresses and the friends being infighting, Carter finally revealed that they were lured there, and that the game they’re playing is real, and has real-world consequences. Unamused and tired, they head back to their hotel, and eventually home, where Olivia and her friends soon begin seeing strange messages appear around them all asking one thing: Truth or Dare?
In recent years, there’s been a resurgence of teen-aimed horror movies, much like there was on the late 1990s/early 2000s, and Truth or Dare is one of the more recent offerings. Like most horror movies, there’s a slight sci-fi/fantasy element mixed in, and like most horror movies, it’s not prominent enough to take casual viewers out of the story. The movie itself actually takes a standard genre plot – partying teens mess with the supernatural and face the consequences – and adds the unique twist that the core group of characters are innocent victims brought in to keep feeding the force behind the game. The actors all have decent chemistry, and for the most part, resemble the college grad students they’re supposed to be. With a PG-13 rating, the movie is relatively bloodless, with only a few graphically gory deaths.
The most prominent effect in the movie is the facial distortion used for when people are possessed by the entity behind the game, and according to the various sources, it was meant to look like an unusual Snapchat filter. There’s also one scene where an unnamed character is burned to death, though it looks like it may have been done practically, with a stunt person and a mannequin. Anything else is just background filler.
As far as horror movies go, this one seems to be a fairly safe bet. It’s intense enough to keep casual fans interested, but not so much as to completely freak them out. The fact that the protagonists are initially bystanders is an interesting take on typical horror plotlines, and the ending isn’t what you typically get from them either. It should hold up to repeat viewings, possibly getting more enjoyable since you can relax and take in hints you may not have noticed the first time around. There’s really only one glaring plothole, but since it’s tied to deus ex machina, it doesn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of the movie.
Truth or Dare isn’t available free to stream anywhere at the moment, but ir can be rented from Redbox or Netflix home delivery service, or purchased from a participating store or on-line retailer.
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