Truth or Dare,
Directed by Jeff Wadlow,
Starring Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Sophia Ali, Landon Liboiron
A horror movie mixing the urban legend style of Candyman and the horror scenes of Final Destination. When the last Spring Break of their college life beckons, Olivia and her friends break out from their routines and head to Mexico. They are all full of high spirits as they reach the destination and their final night needs something big to happen. When they meet Carter, they get to go to an old monastery and there he suggests a game of Truth or Dare, it’s only when it’s Carter’s turn that he tells them that there is a sinister reason behind his bringing them to that place.
I love horror movies, I love dumb but entertaining horror films the most, films like the Final Destination movies themselves, slasher films that are laughable for the wrong reasons make me happy. Truth or Dare falls into that line of cinematic horror. To be honest it’s rare that we get to see films like this on the big screen any more with most of them heading straight for home viewing, so I was like the happiest of bunnies, sitting in an cinema that has no disabled access, so climbing to what seemed like and felt like Everest was mostly worth it.
The story is as above, but what Carter, the enigmatic stranger didn’t tell the group before playing the game is that a demon has awoken in the monastery and is in charge of the game. Now this new group have to play the game and there are rules. Once they are asked the question then they are in the game, they refuse to play they die, they refuse to carry out the truth or dare, they die, and ask two truths in a row and the next person to play has to do a dare. Everyone got that? It’s simple enough.
What I liked here is that there are fresh faces on screen. I actually couldn’t place any of the stars of the film, and there are no flavours of the week cameos to get in the way. Lucy Hale takes the lead as Olivia, the do-gooder who wants to make the world a better place, and yet treats her friend like the biggest bimbo on the planet, while secretly in love with the best friend for life’s boyfriend. It’s actually a nice conflict of the character that we all go through during our late teens and early twenties.
Playing the BFF is Violett Beane and she actually nails the part. Both performers are good Scream Queen players. When I say the film is like Candyman, there is no physical manifestation of the Demon that is running the game, however it inhabits both the players and those around them to force the game to continue. You know that the Demon is in someone when it has this strange exaggerated smile which the Joker would find too much, but to nail that possession home they throw in the old red eyes from time to time.
The film has some problems which I found off-putting, the camera work in some cases made the film horrid to look at, and the use of the Monastery in Mexico was so under-photographed that you wonder why they bothered. There are parts where you can pick off those who are going to die very early during the film, which is a little annoying, but I don’t know if I’ve just seen so many of these movies now that I’ve developed some kind of psychic ability to predict what happens and to whom, or if it was just some of it was formulaic.
Truth or Dare has huge problems, but the enjoyment for this horror fan of the strange things going on and the questions, when someone asks for the Truth the questions are funnily enough very horrific, lead to the comparisons with Final Destination. Predictability be damned, I was entertained and that’s what the cinema is for, just don’t take it too seriously or seriously at all.