★★ out of ★★★★★
Save yourself 90 minutes and just laugh at the trailer.
Directed by Jeff Wadlow
Olivia (Lucy Hale) is a do-gooder. She builds houses with Habitat for Humanity and gives money to homeless people. Her openly friendly nature leaves her vulnerable to Carter (played by Degrassi alum Landon Liboiron) who ropes her and her friends into a deadly game of Truth or Dare. Though she immediately sees things, the game doesn’t start until days after they return from their spring vacation. That’s when Evil Thing begins to ask the teens the titular question, killing those who fail to complete the task or answer the question. It takes on the appearance of humans around it, save for red eyes and unnaturally quirked mouth.
The bulk of the movie is your standard research-or-die format while teenagers get picked off one-by-one. We’re introduced before the game gets rolling to each character’s “vice.” One cheats on her boyfriend, one sells fake prescriptions, one, in a move that felt oddly dated, hasn’t told his dad that he’s gay. Each character’s revelation occurs roughly how you’d expect. Just like the real game, the dares are more interesting. Given a higher MPAA rating, they could have upped the ante with more Saw-like challenges.
The movie’s strongest attractor is right there in the trailers – the eye-catching, belly laugh-inducing Snapchat filters. Unfortunately, the hilarity that is the terrible CG effect wears off pretty quickly and you’re left with a rather dull watch. There is some circumventing of expectations surrounding the deaths, but not anything too intricate like we see with the Final Destination series, which also includes a predetermined order for who is up for the chop. Overall, the movie is only worth catching if it happens to be free on Netflix.
Truth or Dare is Rated PG-13, is in second run cinemas, and should be on streaming services soon. The film has made $85 million at the box office off worldwide off of a $3 million budget. So, unfortunately, you can bet we will be getting sequels. Hollywood can’t say no to a profit cash cow, even if the film is a yawn-inducing dud.