Dare to Play? Truth Or Dare Movie Review

Truth or Dare - Poster #1

When it comes to horror movies, there’s no bigger name than Blumhouse productions. Over the last few years they’ve been solely responsible for producing some of this generation’s iconic horror movies, and with Friday the 13th just around the corner, Blumhouse is looking to celebrate the day with the release of Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare takes an innocent childhood game and aims to turn it on its head by giving it a “horror” twist. The story follows a diverse group of college friends who are headed down to Mexico for one last spring break. After a week of drinking and debauchery, the group of friends meets another spring breaker who then leads them to an abandoned mission located atop a cliffside. Once inside, the group of friends play a game of truth or dare, where they find that their new companion has an ulterior motive.

Now, the group is intertwined in a deadly game of truth or dare, where the rules are simple: “Tell the truth or you die. Do the dare or you die.” When the group of friends returns to school, their lives begin to change, as they soon discover that this game has followed them home. And now as each of the friends begins to die in “accidental” circumstances, the few survivors race to find a way to win the game.

Truth or Dare - Tyler Posey and Lucy Hale

On paper, the movie is laid out like your typical horror movie. You’ll find the same group of friends that you see in every horror movie, and you find the same dark entity or demon that spends the next 90 minutes chasing them around. The characters are flat and one-dimensional, which is a shame because it leaves no chances for you to have any sympathy for them as they’re psychologically tortured by the game.

Olivia (Lucy Hale) is your good-girl whose best friend, Markie (Violett Beane), spends most of her time cheating on her boyfriend, Lucas (Tyler Posey). Their friend, Brad (Hayden Szeto), is struggling to tell his police officer father that he’s gay, and their cocky and egotistical friend, Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk), is looking to get into med school, all while writing fake prescriptions to underclassmen.

Truth or Dare looks to strip these characters of their fundamental flaws by making them tell the truth about their deepest darkest secrets. But when there’s not much to them, you’re left with nothing once their secrets are revealed. When Brad is asked to come out to his father by the demon, the movie fails to show what can be a great scene between a father and son. Instead of showing a hard-boiled father accepting his son’s life decision, even though he might not quite understand it, it’s replaced with him nonchalantly telling his friends that he came out to his father and that his old man was “okay” with it.

Truth or Dare - Tyler Posey and Violett Beane

Every scene in which the characters are forced to tell the truth is scurried along, with the exception of the broken relationship between Olivia, Lucas, and Markie. Every time a “truth” is revealed their relationship is shattered even more, but yet they still decide to keep being around each other for the fact that they need to survive this game. It’s a frustrating game of cat and mouse constantly seeing the bickering between Olivia and Markie.

When basing a movie such as this on a game where a “dare” is expected to be taken to an extreme and uncomfortable level, the film fails in daring to take it to that level. But for the sake of argument, the movie is rated PG-13, so you won’t be getting death scenes ala Final Destination. What you do get are dares and deaths that are almost as flat as the characters that are doing it. The two most satisfying death scenes come from the two biggest douchebags in the movie, Ronnie (Sam Lerner) and Tyson. Even so, when death came knocking at their door, their deaths don’t make you squirm or feel uncomfortable. One of the biggest dares came from the hands of Brad, who was forced to take his father’s gun, point it at him, and make him beg for his life. Yet the end result of that dare, you were able to see coming from a mile away.

Truth or Dare is one of those movies, that after walking out, you begin to wonder if Hollywood is really running out of ideas. The movie doesn’t scare you nor does it create any sense of tension. It doesn’t even leave you questioning your own deep dark secrets. Blumhouse has made some movies that I’ve come to enjoy. Unfortunately, this is not one of those films. It’s reminiscent of a horror movie that you would see go straight-to-DVD or premiere on SyFy. It makes you think, “were they dared to make this movie?”

Rating: 2.5/5 atoms

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