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Film Review: Blumhouse's 'Truth or Dare' is a Challenge You Should Think Twice About Accepting

April 13, 2018Sherry Li

Truth or Dare, the latest outing from Blumhouse, the production company famous for its low budget horror films, finds its roots in a middle school game often played in sleepovers. But does it manage to strike terror in the hearts of moviegoers?

The film, directed by Jeff Wadlow and starring Lucy Hale and Tyler Posey, is more of a guilty pleasure than a horror, yet it lacks the fun or the campiness to really make it a "good" bad movie. It's not bloody enough or tense enough for it to actually scare any real horror fans and instead plays out like a slightly scarier version of a teen drama.

The story follows Olivia (Hale) and her friends (Posey, Violett Beane and Hayden Szeto, to name a few) as they make their last spring break trip to Mexico. While there, Olivia meets Carter (Landon Liboiron), a stranger who brings her and her friends to an abandoned mission where they play a game of truth or dare. But once they start, they realize that it's not just a game — it's real, and it follows them back home. The rules? Play the game, or you die. Tell the truth, or you die. Do the dare, or you die.

For horror fans, the result will probably be worth skipping, since it doesn't have the charisma of a film like Happy Death Day to carry it. The stakes just don't feel high enough for the audience to really feel any fear. And while the actors all do a fine job with the script that they're given, it's really the plot and the nature of the dares themselves that fail to truly terrify the audience.

It's an interesting enough premise, though, with a decent enough backstory to hold it all together, and had the stakes been a little higher, the movie could have been great. However, the truths and the dares the filmmakers have chosen to put in the film feel pretty lame when you consider the possibilities. Things like walking along the edge of the roof while drunk, coming out to your father, or having sex with your best friend's boyfriend might be scary and torturous for the characters, but they certainly don't instill fear in the audience. And without any terrifying consequences, all it seems to generate is drama within the shrinking friend group.

Not only that, even though one by one the characters all start dying, none of the deaths are particularly gruesome. There is hardly any blood or gore, which makes the film feel relatively tame and juvenile, much like the game itself.

Perhaps a younger audience, which the movie is likely geared towards, will find more to enjoy here. But for anyone out of high school, Truth or Dare will more likely than not disappoint. If you're in need of a fun horror film to watch on Friday the 13th, try another Blumhouse flick in the same vein that actually pulls off its ridiculous premise and watch Happy Death Day instead.

Truth or Dare releases April 13th, 2018 from Universal Pictures. The film has an MPAA rating of PG-13 for violence and disturbing content, alcohol abuse, some sexuality, language and thematic material. Its runtime is 1 hr. 40 min.

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