Blumhouse Productions have been on a winning streak in my book when it comes to releasing unique and fun horror films under their brand. Movies such as Get Out, Happy Death Day, and Split. Just like New Line Cinema or Dimension Films in the 90’s and 2000’s, when I see that logo, I know I am in for a horror-ific treat. Blumhouse Productions is starting to become that latest logo for me and their latest film under their resume is Truth or Dare.
Truth or Dare is the latest teen slasher flick with a mission to take an old fashion horror movie blue print with a different unique approach to the “slasher”. The PG-13 film stars Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) and Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf) as two of a group of friends who want to spend their last spring break with each other in Mexico before they all separate into adulthood. They stumble upon a stranger who convinces them to go to a specific location to play the game truth or dare. Once they play, they are permanently in the game and have to continue to play or die. Don’t tell the truth, you die, refuse to do the dare, you die.
This teen horror flick is fun and why not have people die around a game that gets you into trouble anyways. Much similar to Unfriended these movies are focused on the strengths and bonds of friendship and relationships. Each truth told was revealing of a secret kept by one member that usually was about someone else in the group. Each dare provided some kind of action to act on current impulses that they normally wouldn’t do if they weren’t forced to do or make light of a vice or bad habit and exploit them in death defying ways. The characters involve all the major horror character tropes not excluding the horny guy, the sensitive pushover, the inseparable couple, the ass hat, and the gay one. While some characters were basic and flat there were some that you actually had sympathy for and wanted to live through this ordeal. Under the circumstances, they pretty much made good choices but at the same time, most of what they were going through was learning how they the group thought of one another and if they were able to let all of these new truths not get in the way of survival.
The movies biggest problem is their execution in exposition and foreshadowing. They are literally force fed to us making it quite clear who is to die or get hurt and how. Playing the game it does feed on your worse fears and uses your deepest darkest secrets to each other. Just the use of the camera angles and certain phrases, you can see a death coming a mile away. Depending on the type of person you are, hearing the phrase “truth or dare” over and over again will either get annoying or you won’t even notice it because it’s been said so many times. The movie isn’t laughable but it is less scary and more on the ridiculous fun side. The friends that accompanied me to the show, they were scared and tried to avoid looking at certain suspenseful scenes but overall wasn’t terrified. The scares and images presented are good but not great. The movie as a whole definitely shows examples of a limited restricted movie. It was like the director, Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2, Cry_Wolf), tried to see how far into the Rated R territory without crossing that line. Those scenes were pretty noticeable. There were scenes that were surprising to me and how it ended was satisfying as well.
There has been a lot of horror movies coming out with unknown villains, antagonist, and killers. Especially the kind that you can’t see. I enjoy those types of movies. There are some that you can see but are not visible to those who aren’t marked, cursed, or chosen. I think they give off a different kind of fear when watching those films. It’s a genre that is being created now that I hope they continue to work with. Having those sort of accidental deaths being played out from a technical point of view I think is really clever.
Blumhouse have put themselves on a high standard pedestal in my book and this movie didn’t deliver as the recent films under the production company. I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a nice concept a little different from the standard. If you are a fan of movies like Final Destination, Wish Upon, or, Unfriended, you will get a kick out of this movie. This is polar opposite tone from the horror movie released last week, A Quiet Place. So this movie brings more of the fun side to horror while the other is more dramatic and emotional. There are room for both and I am sure there is a fan base for both as well.
I bet you by the end of the movie and on your way home, you won’t be able to contain yourself making the horrible grin face stare to your friends or loved ones repeating the phrase, “Truth or Dare?”
3 out of 5
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