Having fun with facial distortion phone apps.
Blumhouse Productions has been on a roll recently, and that’s putting it mildly. On the precipice of getting potential Oscar nominations for Get Out, and having shepherded some of the best and most profitable horror movies of recent vintage, BH has a developed certain stamp of quality to it. They managed to strike a bit of teen horror gold with Happy Death Day last year, and are going to continue down that path with Truth or Dare. The movie is going to mine the classic coming-of-age teen rite of passage of Truth or Dare, which is usually an excuse for forcing awkward situations like kissing the girl you’ve always had a crush on, or revealing your bra size, or admitting that you’re a chronic bed wetter, or that you have a thing for the Auto Shop teacher, or dropping your pants… you know… fun stuff. The premise behind this particular instance of the game suggests darker forces at play, and you can’t stop the game.
According to Universal/Blumhouse the plot is “A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone — or something — begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.”
From this trailer, however, I think the movie is going to have more unintentional laughs than they want. The added twist to the story is that when faced with the critical moment of Truth or Dare, any violators of the rule get a screwy facial expression. Any fans of comic books will recognize the Joker Face look that distorts people right before they die from Joker’s secret blend of laughing gas. That’s what we’re getting here, and it looks ridiculous. The prevalence of facial distortion applications on smartphones makes this look both familiar, and rather un-shocking. I would have much preferred having actors with great expressiveness to execute their own maniacal looks rather than the physically impossible transformations shown here. And, as I had mentioned in my review of Happy Death Day, you can find these actors, like Jessica Rothe, who have a bit of the rubbery face expressiveness needed. (A Blumhouse production, no less!) Another curious notion I took away from this trailer was… aren’t these people a little too old to be playing Truth or Dare? They are old enough to go into bars, so haven’t they gotten past the point of having to play such charades?
And, in a nod to the 1990’s this movie has a rough twin. For every Dante’s Peak, there was a Volcano. Bugs Life had its Ants to compare to. Last year a very gory British movie also called Truth or Dare was also released, and that was straight up torture porn. This movie is not yet rated, but it appears to be a PG-13 movie that will attempt to draw in a large teen audience. Side by side, I’m betting that the 2017 Truth or Dare will be the scarier of the two after all is said and done.
But, this is just the trailer, and I am usually willing to give BH the benefit of doubt. Does this trailer inspire you to see it?
Truth or Dare comes out on Friday, April 13.