HOLLYWOOD—Truth or Dare it’s a game many of us probably played in our early teens and early 20s, so when I heard the production company that gave us the incredibly smart “Get Out” and the twisted “Happy Death Day” was turning this popular game into a horror flick I was somewhat intrigued. However, “Truth or Dare” is not what you think it is and you will be disappointed by the outcome.
The film has a solid opening sequence which follows Olivia (Lucy Hale) and her pals who take a trip to Mexico to alieve a bit of stress. Along the way they meet Carter (Landon Liboiron), who indulges Olivia and her pals Lucas (Tyler Posey), Markie (Violett Beane), Brad (Hayden Szeto), Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk), Ronnie (Sam Lerner) and Penelope (Sophia Ali) into a game of truth or dare. There is one slight problem: the college coeds have no idea that this little game they have indulged in is more demonic then they ever expected.
The narrative follows the coeds as they soon discover that when the game wants to play they have to play, and if they don’t do the dare or tell the truth they will suffer a deadly fate. Here is the problem, the movie doesn’t take its unique premise and use it to its advantage. I felt this was flick teetering on the lines of the exceptional supernatural flick “Final Destination.” That movie was the perfect example of how you take a neat idea and truly make the best of it.
With “Truth or Dare” as a viewer I got the notion the flick was aiming to see how it could put these characters in these twisted situations with the most disturbing outcome without fully committing to it. Why is that problematic? I felt the flick should have been R-rated to truly give the audience what it wanted. The PG-13 element limits some of the boundaries that I think the movie could have utilized to really deliver a fun flick with some shocking twists and turns.
One of my biggest concerns is the character development. “Truth or Dare” falls into that troupe of so many common horror flicks that have a body count with a ton of characters you could care less about because there is no development. Why? The only characters who seem fleshed out are Olivia, Lucas and Markie. The others are just put into the movie as casualties of not playing by the rules of the ‘game.’ If you don’t care about the characters, it makes it difficult to make a connection to them and when they meet their maker, you hunch your shoulders and ask yourself, “Who is next?”
Another issue with the supernatural thriller is that its narrative becomes slightly confusing. In an attempt to explain how this curse or game came to be it loses points for logic. Things seem a bit far-fetched and as a viewer I was not buying what the director and the writers attempted to present to me. It would have been much smarter to just let the chaos play out and not really try to explain a backstory where the dots don’t always connect.
Let me be clear “Truth or Dare” had all the elements to be a clever thrill-ride, but there are too many missed opportunities that bring the flick down as we reach the climax. You might be entertained for a bit, but that soon fizzles as “Truth or Dare” doesn’t really scare the audience, so I dare you to see it.