Truth or dare is a simple game- do the truth or do the dare, that’s all there is to it. Trying to transform this game into a movie, in the horror genre at that, has led to a film with an unimpressive plot and few jump scares, which are usually one of the many highlights of seeing a scary movie.
“Truth or Dare” follows former “Pretty Little Liars” star Lucy Hale, in the role of Olivia, the moralistic leader of a group of obtuse college kids who gallivant around Mexico for their last spring break together.
On the last night of their trip, they are lured to an old, abandoned missionary by a stranger to play a game of truth or dare. The rules read similarly to those of a traditional game of truth or dare, except with a darker twist: once you’re asked you’re in, tell the truth or you die, do the dare or you die and truth can only be chosen by two people in a row. Once the group returned home from their trip, strange things are seen and they soon discover that the game is real.
While the dares are meant to spook the audience, the suspense associated with horror movies is lacking in “Truth or Dare.” There was an absence of jump scares leaving the audience disappointed that the horror movie they paid to see isn’t all that scary.
While the dares are meant to spook the audience, the suspense associated with horror movies is lacking in “Truth or Dare.
As the game progresses, their group diminishes. Each honest confession breaks them apart and each dare refused brings them to their graves. The few who haven’t died search for a way to end the game, exposing the substandard plot for what it is.
Internet searches lead them to the last remaining player from the first time the game was ever played. They learn there that the game was possessed by a demon summoned by a group of girls who lived at the abandoned church where the current players were trapped. In order to leave the game alive, they must locate the person who started the game, bring them to the church and have them perform a ritual consisting of a chant in Spanish and the clipping of their tongue.
Although the fear in the characters was portrayed to the audience while the dares are being completed, the quality of acting clearly drops when the characters are unable to scream to communicate the emotions they are feeling in serious scenes.
The movie closes with the two survivors of the group posting a YouTube video asking the viewers to play, effectively trapping them into the game. The more people that play, the fewer truths and dares each player have to complete, as they have more time in between their turns.
The quality of acting clearly drops when the characters are unable to scream to communicate the emotions they are feeling in serious scenes.
Overall, the movie was mediocre at best. It served its purpose to entertain its audience but its predictable plot points did little to truly hold them captive. Screams that attempted to cover low-level acting did little to hide the lack of character development that only adds to the uncreative plot.
Gory deaths and high stakes dares are meant to build the suspense of viewers but the suspense is barely there, if there at all, and shows that the movie is not truly a horror, despite its description and Blumhouse Productions’ roots. If one is looking for a suspense and spooks in a film, “Truth or Dare” is not the film to see.
Photo courtesy of Blumhouse Productions
- Featured nice camera shots
- The characters backstories were interesting
- Weak acting
- Weak plot