TRUTH OR DARE
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer: Michael Reisz
Starring: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane
Review by Anelise Farris
Truth or Dare presents a familiar horror narrative: a bunch of super attractive, upper-class college students head to Mexico for a Spring Break filled with drinking, hooking up, and trespassing. Olivia (Lucy Hale) was all set to spend her Spring Break volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, but, when her BFF pressured her to join them in Mexico, she couldn’t refuse–especially since it seems that she has the hots for the boyfriend of said BFF. So naturally, it’s Olivia that takes center stage. In an effort to make the BFF’s BF jealous, she pursues a boy that she meets at a bar. A boy who only has one thing on his mind: a deadly game of Truth or Dare.
If you watch as many horror movies as I do, this premise will not seem as ridiculous as it does when typed out. As I said previously, it is actually very standard fare for a generic horror movie: beautiful people making stupid decisions. That said, one of the most interesting aspects of this movie was the choice to make Olivia–the goody-goody, save-the-world humanitarian–responsible for all of her friends dying. Unfortunately, however, it just came across as insincere. While Olivia is so vocal about her social activism, she seems to care little for the people around her. And, it’s frustrating because the movie doesn’t seem certain about whether it is trying to draw attention to her hypocrisy or have it come across as more of a subtle commentary.
I wish that I had more positive things to say about the film. I really do– especially because it is from the producer of Happy Death Day (2017) and Get Out (2017), two unique horror films that I enjoyed immensely. It’s not even that the acting was terrible. It was just that I didn’t care at all about the characters. There is a scene where one of the characters is dared to walk around the roof while drinking a whole bottle of vodka. (“Penelope, the day drinker” had already been consuming her fair share that day, prior to this incident). Honestly, I was more concerned about the major hangover she was going to have than her actually dying.
And where were everyone’s parents? I get that they are college students, but how do they all live in nice houses? How are they being hospitalized without their parents’ knowledge? The only parent we ever see is Brad’s cop dad who randomly shows up at the strangest times. There’s an attempt to have a “my-dad-can’t-accept-my-homosexuality” narrative for Brad, but it fails to develop into anything. Moreover, since this is a horror movie, I suppose I have to talk about whether it was scary or not. In a less-than-difficult decision, I am going to go with not. All of the “scary” bits were just people doing creepy smiles over and over and over. Once, it’s disquieting. More than once, it’s just humorous.
Truth or Dare Blu-ray Special Features:
- Unrated Director’s Cut Version
- Game On: The Making of Truth or Dare
- Directing the Deaths
- Feature Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Jeff Wadlow and Actress Lucy Hale
- Optional English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles for the main feature
Verdict: Skip it.
While we have had our fair share of excellent horror movies over the last few years, Truth or Dare is not one of them.
This title will be released July 17, 2018.