Film review: ‘TRUTH OR DARE’ by Nick Gardener from ‘Built For Speed’

Truth or Dare comes from the Final Destination school of supernatural horror, in other words it’s a vague morality tale in which pretty young people are stalked by a supernatural force determined to kill them all.

Here, good-natured college student Olivia (Lucy Hale) and her male and female friends head down to Mexico for some Spring Break debauchery. When a beardy hipster (Landon Liboiron) invites them to a creepy old church, alarm bells should have been sounding given the fate of attractive young people who enter such places in movies. Stupidly, they agree to play a game of truth or dare not realising it will place them under the control of a sinister force that intends to torment and kill them one by one.

This is pretty formulaic stuff as the group of twenty-somethings are besieged by a demonic force that uses household appliances and knick-knacks to despatch them, at times with gory results. The pretty young things are almost indistinguishable from the ones we see in all these types of films: the conscientious sexually repressed heroine, her blonde extroverted promiscuous friend, nice guy, arrogant guy and creepy guy. To its credit the film does actually feature a non-stereotyped gay guy.

Despite more than a few silly moments Truth or Dare is competently made and features dialogue and performances that are slightly above average for the genre. It’s not particularly scary, though and lacks the menace, not to mention the artistry, that a vaguely similar film like It Follows had.

There are a couple of effective pop-outs and a couple of tense moments but the film seems more concerned with snarky teen characters and their relationships than with straight-up horror.

Truth or Dare is a little stronger than expected but in no way evolves the horror genre.

Nick’s rating: **1/2

Genre: Horror.

Classification: M.

Director(s): Jeff Wadlow.

Release date: 12th Apr 2018.

Running time: 100 mins.

Reviewer: Nick Gardener can be heard on “Built For Speed” every Friday night from 8-10pm right here on 88.3 Southern FM.  Nick can also be heard on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Film Show” podcast.


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