Truth Or Dumb
It’s really difficult to know where to start with Blumhouse’s new horror film Truth Or Dare. Whether it be the hilariously inept teen characters inhabiting this unbelievably created world or the generic action set pieces that play out closer to comedy than horror, Truth Or Dare is a calamitous film from start to finish and another sad effort from Hollywood to create a decent horror. Even the cinematography is poor at best making Truth Or Dare another throwaway horror better left forgotten.
After a contrived opening showcasing how caring our protagonist Olivia Barron (Lucy Hale) is, the story picks up in the heart of Mexico as Olivia is swept away from her humanitarian plans to work for Shelter to take part in a Spring Break with her friends. Once there, they become unwittingly involved in a deadly game of Truth Or Dare after being led to an abandoned mansion. They quickly learn that the game is alive and if you refuse to play or complete the chosen dare or truth, you’ll be killed. There’s an element of Final Destination at play here and the film does follow a similarly predictable route to that film as the teens try to work out how to beat the system while helplessly avoiding death as they’re picked off one by one.
The problem with Truth Or Dare is the sheer lack of empathy toward any of the characters. The painfully awkward interactions early on between the friends are littered with technological colloquialisms designed to attract a younger market but shoehorned into the scripts in such a haphazard way it destroys any credibility. From Snapchat filters and tagging on Facebook to slurring “bros” and bragging about sexual organs, Truth Or Dare does a disastrous job of building any sort of likeability toward any of the characters. Even Olivia, our plucky young heroine, slowly turns into an illogical, whiny teen as the film continues and as the kids start divulging some dark secrets, it all builds toward one of the most incredulous, selfishly constructed endings to a horror film in quite some time.
It’s all very messy and poorly constructed and even the rules of the game change partway through the film. Predictably, most of the adults introduced succumb to the dumb, oblivious tropes they all somehow seem to adopt in these sort of films. Whilst it would be unfair to nitpick all the things Truth Or Dare does wrong, especially within the slasher/teen horror genre, Truth Or Dare fails to really create anything memorable or wholly original. There’s barely a glimmer of redemption in any of the technicality either, with the editing and cinematography clumsy at best.
Truth Or Dare is a strong contender for one of the worst films this year. Whether it be the sloppily constructed story or the development of the horribly unlikable characters, it’s difficult to find a redeeming feature in Blumhouse’s latest horror effort. The ending is neither clever nor particularly good at subverting our expectations for these characters we’re supposed to be empathising with and throughout the film you’re more likely to roll your eyes than jump out of your seat. That’s not to say there isn’t horror here, but it’s so lazily constructed you wonder why they even bothered. Truth Or Dare is quite simply a really bad movie and with other, more prolific horrors out right now, Truth Or Dare is a tough one to recommend.