UNIVERSAL PICTURES (2018)

 

Director: Jeff Wadlow

 

Starring: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Hayden Szeto, Sophia Taylor Ali, Landon Liboiron, Sam Lerner

Ah, Blumhouse.

 

The studio that delivered us Get Out, Split, Paranormal Activity, Whiplash and...err...13 Sins. When they get it right, boy, do they really get it right – however, their stinkers really do whiff the place out. Jeff Wadlow threw his hat into the ring with Truth or Dare – another low budget horror movie the studio hoped would translate into riches...

 

...except this one REALLY stinks the place out.

Spring break! School’s out and five BFF’s – Olivia (Hale), Markie (Beane), her boyfriend Lucas (Posey), Brad (Szeto) and Tyson (Funk) – dart off to Mexico for fun, frolics, flirting and hyper-social media usage. Also present is the school oddbod Ronnie (Lerner) because...well, who knows, he just appears. When the mysterious, stubbled loner at the bar offers Olivia the chance to join him at a far-out abandoned mansion, she jumps at the chance and ropes her friends in. Also present at the far-out abandoned mansion is Ronnie because...well, who knows, he just appears. The mysterious, stubbled loner turns out to be a nefarious mysterious, stubbled loner as he reveals at the end of their game of Truth or Dare that they are all now part of a deadly version of the game where a wrong answer leads to one thing – DEEEEATH.

 

Truth or dare?

 

Truth!

 

Truth or Dare is utter shit.

 

OK, thanks for playing.

 

The positives - the movie has a solid, intriguing (if brief) intro and, honestly, the overall premise of the movie is good and had a lot of potential.

 

That’s that out of the way.

 

The premise was good, but the execution was horrifying – the only horrifying part of the movie itself, in fact. Story-wise, everything was ridiculously convenient, as in stupidly convenient – the idea of Ronnie...why?? Everyone is exceptionally easy to find on Facebook when it’s called for, even if wanted for murder (hello, privacy settings!) The dialogue was awful, and for the most part simply stuffed full of obvious exposition, this is horror for idiots – if you need your story spoonfed, you’re in for a treat here. Also, it was all just a bit childish – he said, she said, Olivia and Lucas sitting in a tree, it’s cringe. Not nearly as cringe as the movies attempts at proving how so very hip and modern it is – the social media mentions were painfully out of touch – “Hey look, there’s a Facebook and I said about the Snapchats!”. Stop, please. The gimpish faces the possessed pull are literally Snapchat filters and now I want the world to stop.

 

Oh, there are subplots regarding sexual abuse, suicide and a character coming out – and absolutely none of it works.

 

I want to say the cast try their hardest with the material, but I’m not entirely sure that they did. No one stands out.

 

Part of the reason The Exorcist works so well is that the demon’s name is never uttered – imagine Ellen Burstyn talking about ‘Pazuzu’ – whereas Exorcist II is a toilet blocker partly due to everyone having to say Pazuzu with a straight face (plus many, many more reasons). Truth or Dare has a spiritual nasty named Calax – and the cast here have to say that ridiculous name and try to sell it (obviously they don’t achieve this feat). However, DEMON FACE OFF! Pazuzu vs. Calax – put your bets on. And yes, I mentioned horror masterpiece The Exorcist in review about his movie.

 

Honestly, Truth or Dare could be one of the worst movies of 2018 by the time Auld Lang Syne begins to blare out around the world. Throwaway, cheesy, cliché, cringy, unscary, nauseating – feel free to carry on. The intro is literally the only good part of this movie, other than the wasted premise. The worst dare the silly named demon could ask of anyone would be to watch this movie.

May 20th 2018

© 2016 Matt Hudson / What I Watched Tonight / Essex

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