Truth or Dare
Spring Break takes a turn for the worst when a group of college friends become embroiled in a deadly version of the teen party game.
Stick Mean Girls’ Cady Heron and Regina George bang in the middle of Final Destination and that’s the general gist of Blumhouse Productions' latest offering, Truth or Dare. Scandal, girl-on-girl rivalry, and a lot of death.
Besties Olivia (Lucy Hale) and Markie (Violett Beane) are in Mexico enjoying drunken Spring Break hijinks with their college friends, when Olivia takes a shine to a guy named Carter (Landon Liboiron). Determined to prove to her party-loving pals that she’s no killjoy, she encourages the group to follow this stranger to the ruins of a mission in the middle of nowhere. Not put off in the slightest by the broken urn, creepy engravings and pungent smell of the place, Olivia thinks Carter’s call for a round of Truth or Dare is inspired, but realises what a grave mistake she’s made when the game follows the group back to California.
Her mates take some convincing that “the game is real,” but once the words ‘Truth or Dare’ are burned into their flesh, texted to their phones, and spoken to them by those both living and dead, they’re satisfied that you either play or you die a very gruesome death in punishment for being a loser and copping out.
First of all, this movie is not scary in the slightest. There is a disappointing lack of gore and no real tension in spite of the obvious musical cues. It’s also very easy to pick out who will live and who will die from the line-up, and the deaths that come are not as outlandish as you’d expect.
The characters all get their own Scream masks of sort, as they morph into sinister, super smiley freaks with impossibly high cheekbones and slanted eyebrows whenever the game calls on them to ask that all important question. And though that may sound chilling in description, it's just downright hilarious. Particularly when applied to resurrected corpses and the faces within mobile phone video footage.
As ridiculous as it is, there is much entertainment to be had in a faceless demon trying to make the lives of an ordinary group of teens as difficult as possible. Every time they think they’ve found a way to beat the game, the game replies ‘nice try, but no.’ The mean old demon makes poor Brad (Hayden Szeto) come out to his dad and makes poor Lucas (Tyler Posey) choose between girlfriend Markie and new lover Olivia. Olivia definitely wins the game, aside from a nasty injury early on. The girl who’s fallen for her best mate’s boyfriend is not only ‘forced’ to expose Markie’s cheating and break them up, she’s also ‘dared’ to sleep with him. Poor her.
If you want a solid story with some genuine scares, like Blumhouse’s Insidious and The Purge franchises for example, then this movie will not measure up, and surely won’t be getting a sequel. But in all honesty, does anyone have particularly high hopes for a film based on a party game? Embrace all the ridiculousness and college kid drama and you’ll have a jolly old time.
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