Just a month ago, Blumhouse garnered a bevy of academy award nominees for its massively successful and universally beloved film “Get Out,” as they helped to further the argument that horror films can be art. And what did they decide to follow it up with?
Truth or Dare is the kind of movie that can and should only be enjoyed by 13-year-olds as they look up for air between making out in the back of the theater. It is an uninspired way to spend an afternoon in which a group of college students is tortured by a haunted game of truth or dare. Answer truth and you might have to reveal a horrible secret, answer dare and you might have to commit an unspeakable act. Refuse to play and you DIE. In other words, it’s the kind of story that is easily penned on a middle school student’s Wattpad account but goes unfinished because they run out of ideas after like the third round. Similarly, this movie runs out of ideas before it even gets through half of its runtime. The first forty minutes or so is this group of “friends” that all secretly hate each other trying to convince each other that this evil game is real and not just some big joke. Half of the characters die in very gruesome ways and everyone just sort of shrugs it off. The screenwriters try to put some thought into this, as there is a very uninteresting C-plot of the police trying to figure out why all of these kids keep dying, but it is shoved so far in the backseat it falls out the trunk and is never heard from again.
All of these characters are so aggressively uninteresting you would think they were written by an artificial intelligence running on Windows 95. They are each distilled down to one defining secret that is destined to be revealed in a fateful game of truth or dare. For instance, one of them is gay, another one somehow is able to deal illegal prescriptions, another didn’t let her friend’s dad rape her. You know, normal stuff. Lucy Hale plays the lead and she has all of the character of a wax doll that was left in the summer sun. The only actor who is even remotely watchable is Hayden Szeto (Edge of Seventeen) who has an almost arc with his dad, but it is ruined by some abhorrent screenwriting, causing him to completely lose any credibility he may have had.
Honestly, just don’t waste your time. Nothing in this movie is worth it. Well, that’s not true, I had a great time watching it as the film is just so blissfully stupid., but if you’re not seeing it with a group of friends, you’re better off pouring a gallon of milk in the Walgreen’s parking lot and waiting to see how long it takes for it to smell. The movie is not creative in the slightest, actually, that’s not fair. The movie did invent one thing. The truth or dare face. Anytime Truth or Dare is played in this movie someone makes this RIDICULOUS “menacing” smiley face that just comes across as them attempting to look like Willem Dafoe. It somehow finds ways to shoehorn in tired old horror cliches into a premise that should be allergic to them. At one point they just waste time by explaining how there’s a demon behind the whole thing and the only way to defeat him is to cut out your tongue and spit in a flower pot or something. It doesn’t matter, they don’t care and neither should. Nothing about this is worth your time unless you can find a good group of friends and a theater that doesn’t mind you laughing through the whole movie. Or, and I can’t stress this enough, if you are a thirteen year old looking for a place to make out. Because in that case, the world is your oyster.
All images are from Truth or Dare, a Blumhouse Production