Courtesy of Blumhouse production
The premise of Jeff Wadlow’s “Truth or Dare” is simple enough: a crew of nameless, young and hopeless, teenagers back themselves into one big horror movie cliche. Either, they play the titular game or suffer the consequences. Which, naturally, means death by stabbing with a pen or a good knife to the throat.
Credit needs to be given to Blumhouse productions for creating a model that allows filmmakers an outlet for their creative flows, and on a lean budget of $5 million or less, it pretty much guarantees solid profit margins. Sometimes it works (“Get Out”) and, in this case, it doesn't. “Truth or Dare” is one mindless conundrum, with a plot that was thinly stretched - you either answer a truth or do a dare and thus the cycle keeps repeating - and characters not worth understanding.
Heartthrob, Lucy Hale leads the brigade that after a spontaneous spring break trip to Mexico gets roped into a deadly game of truth or dare. The game's origins are vastly unclear and follow them home, where, once we realize it's true supernatural nature, it won’t rewrite the horror movie playbook. At first thinking it’s a joke, our compatriots don’t indulge the constant writings on the walls, and ignore the warning signs. But once a classmate meets his gruesome demise for not following through on his dare (his death, of course, is publicly released to thousands of people within seconds) - they believe what they assumed were hallucinations.
Not that it matters, all these movies do is just present pretty faces to be executed, and with some of them being so annoying, you’ll be glad they did. One of the weirder aspects is how the game unfolds, where normal people smile with Joker-like grins asking that dier question. This even prompts one of the members to state the creepy smile looked like “A weird snapchat filter” - she hit it right on the nose.
Others find themselves in perilous situations, and one is forced to come out to his father. For an instance, the game looked like it actually helped someone and I was confused. It’s even more depressing when you see that four writers had their names on this. Four. And not a single one could produce a satisfactory conclusion that gee, wasn’t a lame horror movie cop out? That sure makes me wonder what type of movie they’d do next, perhaps the filmmakers would have better luck with a take on Spin The Bottle.
Rated PG-13 for violence and disturbing content, alcohol abuse, some sexuality, language and thematic material
Runtime 1 hr. and 40 minutes.