Truth or Dare Review

I had heard about Truth or Dare just once a few months ago. I remember seeing the TV spot for it and finding it interesting yet not surprising at all; still, I remember wanting to watch it. I had the opportunity to go watch this movie today, and it was, as I was expecting, rather disappointing.

The premise of this movie is simple:

Synopsis
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.

Alright, let’s break this down.

Story

The story is rather simple: a group of friends go out on vacations to Mexico, over there, they meet one guy who seemed to be really nice and after a while, he takes them to an abandoned mission. In there, the group starts to play truth or dare. The group starts playing until all of them have asked the question to each other, in the end, someone finally asks “truth or dare?” to the guy they had just met, and when he chooses “truth” he is asked about his intentions, to which he replies by saying he just wanted to stay alive, and that he needed to get new people into the game.

He rushes out of the mission, and our main character, Olivia (Lucy Hale) goes behind him to ask what the hell happened. This guy named Carter (Landon Liboiron) explains that the game is real, and that they have to complete the challenges unless they want to die.

After this situation, Olivia has her first encounter with the unknown as she gets somewhat lost in her mind, seeing something that isn’t really there, but without further consequences; therefore, she doesn’t pay much attention to it, so they return back to their home without thinking too much about what happened.

Soon after that, Olivia starts seeing “Truth or Dare?” everywhere, at first being subtle, but then escalating to a point where she sees her college classmates with a demonic facial expression at the library constantly asking her the same question, until they all surround her until she chooses “truth” and is asked to reveal Markie’s (Violett Beane, her best friend) deepest secret.

After this, Olivia starts trying to explain the situation, but of course, nobody believes her. In a bar nearby, one of her friends, Ronnie (Sam Lerner) tries to flirt with a girl, but sees the same demonic expression Olivia saw at the library. This time, it is a dare, but Ronnie ends up not fulfilling it.

This is the same pattern for every member of the group of friends, in the same order they first asked the question of this game the first time. They start seeing or hearing “truth or dare?” until they choose one, they are given a “challenge” and they either complete it or not, knowing that if they fail, there’s a huge price to be paid.

To not spoil the movie for you, I won’t keep summarizing what happens; however, there are going to be a couple of spoilers below, so you’ll decide whether or not to open this button.

Spoilers

Basically, well into the movie we get to know that this situation happened a long time ago before in this mission where everything started for this group of friends as well. At that time, there were nuns living there, and we get to know that there was a massacre there with only one survivor, one nun. Olivia and Lucas (Tyler Posey) go where this nun lives to try and understand how she was able to survive.

When they arrived there, they are greeted by the nun’s granddaughter, who explains she has not spoken to anyone in 50 years. When they are able to talk to her, the mute nun writes notes to the kids in order to explain what happened, letting them know that she was the one responsible for everything as she summoned a demon named Calex, who is a trickster, and it possessed the “truth or dare?” game they were playing, and letting them know that there’s a verse they have to read seven times at the mission where everything started, but it has to be done by the person who unleashed the demon again, and this person has to sacrifice his tongue, which must be sealed with wax into an urn.

This time, the person who unleashed Calex was Carter, so it would become a challenge to get him to do so, but Olivia, Lucas and Markie find where he is hiding, and take him back to the mission without letting him know about the sacrifice he needs to do. Unfortunately for them, Calax took Carter’s life before he could give the sacrifice and this way the demon is free to keep going. Olivia, though, had another plan, and she involves the entire world in the game by asking “Truth or Dare?” through a live video on her YouTube channel.

Characters

The main characters of this movie are Olivia, Markie, Lucas, Penelope (Sophia Ali), Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk), Carter, Ronnie (Sam Lerner), and Brad (Hayden Szeto), with Gary Anthony Williams as the voice of the demon Calex.

 

Out of these characters, there are only three stories worth mentioning: Olivia and Markie have been friends for years, with Olivia becoming a sort of protector for Markie because she is alone due to the death of her father; however, Olivia kept a lot of secrets in order to help Markie, some being with good intentions, some because she was ashamed.

The other character with some sort of story is Brad, a homosexual guy, son of a police officer, who had been hiding his sexual orientation his entire life due to fear of the reaction his father might have. In one of the dares by Calex, he is requested to tell his father about this situation.

That’s it. That’s all the relevant stories for this group of friends. I’m serious, there is nothing else. Nothing.

via GIPHY

Let’s move on.

Cinematography

There really is nothing special about this movie when it comes to cinematography. There’s no innovation, there’s nothing we haven’t seen before. A couple of forced jump-scares, some takes from phones showing text messages, a video playing in a cellphone. I really can’t talk about anything that stands out in this movie, because even what differentiates it from other movies, the demonic facial expression from characters, isn’t consistent throughout the entire movie. I wish there was more to say about this, but there just isn’t.

Soundtrack

Same as it has been the case throughout this movie, there really isn’t anything that stands out for the soundtrack of the movie. If I had to mention one thing, it would be Gary Anthony Williams‘ voice for Calex, but even that one is not memorable, but is the best out of everything within the music, voices, environmental sounds…and even right now, a few hours after I watched the movie, I can’t precisely recall how this voice sounded, but I remember thinking -one time- that it sounded credible as a demonic voice.

Final Verdict

Truth or Dare is an average “horror” flick at best. It is an enjoyable movie, something I’d watch in a boring Saturday afternoon in order to kill 1 hour and 40 minutes of the day. For the usual movie-goer, this might be a good film to enjoy with the family and friends; however, for horror fans, it will be a huge disappointment, even if they go into the theater with low expectations.

The only good thing that can be said about this movie is Violett Beane‘s acting. I was convinced she was hurting by the passing of her father; I was convinced she was outrageous about Olivia’s actions. That’s it.

I’ve been thinking what could be an accurate reaction for this movie, and I believe this could sum it up:

via GIPHY

Good

  • Fun to watch
  • Markie's background story

Bad

  • Lacks imagination
  • Lame jump-scare attempts
  • Not scary at all
  • Bad idea for the "villain"
  • Awful ending
4.7

Poor

Story - 4.5
Characters - 7
Cinematography - 4
Soundtrack - 5
Horror - 3
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