Monday, April 16, 2018

Movie Review: "Truth or Dare" (2018)

Director: Jeff Wadlow
Year: 2018
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hours, 40 minutes

A close-knit group of college friends gets tricked into playing a game of truth or dare where the consequences of lying, not playing the game, and not completing their dares mean death.
A visual representation of what we would have rather been doing instead of watching "Truth or Dare." (Image Source)
Is this what we have come to as a society? Are we at the point where Hollywood makes money turning games played by horny teenagers into horror movies? Stay tuned for future Blumhouse projects such as "7 Minutes in Heaven," "Spin the Bottle," and "Suck & Blow." We can just see some joe-schmo director in a boardroom meeting as we speak. "Mr. Blumhouse, sir, I can get this done. All I need is an empty bottle, a deck of playing cards, a couple of sub-par-but-well-known television actors, and a few million bucks."
"This is our last chance to spend time together before the world tears us apart." (Image Source)
"Blumhouse's Truth or Dare" is directed by Jeff Wadlow, who has helmed films like "Cry Wolf," "Never Back Down," and "True Memoirs of an International Assassin." It stars Lucy Hale as a do-gooder college student named Olivia, who has a penchant for donating her time to worthy causes like Habitat for Humanity. She was going to spend her spring break volunteering, but her best friend Markie (Violett Beane) has convinced her to come to Mexico and get wasted instead. Once there, Olivia meets a man at a bar who persuades her and her friends to go to a deserted mission to play a game of truth or dare, ya know, as one does. Once Olivia and her friends play the game, they can never stop. If they try to lie their way out of their questions, or they don't complete a dare, or they refuse to play the game, they die. 
"I thought I was your lucky pen!" (Image Source)
It should come as no surprise when we say "Truth or Dare" is a ridiculous, paint-by-numbers PG-13 horror film. It runs through the "teen horror playbook" beat-for-beat. A group of drunk college kids in a strange-to-them place meet a stranger who takes them to an even stranger place where they all play a strange game and strange things start to happen. How strange! There are a few too many jump-scares, many sanitized death scenes for its younger audience, a mystery the group must solve to discover how all the madness began, and an exposition person to give them every single clue they need to end their problems. There is nothing new here. No imagination, no creeps, no nothing. It's simply a dumbed-down, pseudo-scarefest that goes on about an hour too long.
"It looked like a messed up Snapchat filter." (Image Source)
"Truth or Dare" wouldn't be that bad if the writers and director could have at least made us care for the characters in any conceivable way. In fact, they really just make us dislike them for the most part. There is maybe one decent person in the whole friend group, and it sure as shit ain't Olivia. By the end of the movie, we found ourselves so utterly annoyed by the characters and their crap that we honestly hoped that they would die. The plot is really, really repetitive, especially when detailing the relationship between Olivia and Markie. Olivia says a truth, Markie gets mad, they make up with each other. Olivia does a dare, Markie gets mad, they make up with each other. Olivia is dared to tell the truth, Markie gets mad, they make up with each other. This pattern is repeated about 17 more times until the credits roll. And ooooooooh boy, the ending. Have you ever felt yourself becoming so physically angered by a movie that you didn't realize you were screaming at the theater screen until an employee walked into the room to clean it? That's what happened to us. Luckily, no one was watching this lousy, disastrous movie with us (a mere four days after it opened in theaters), so we weren't affecting anyone's enjoyment with our screams...not that there was any enjoyment to be had in the first place.
"Once you ask, you're in." (Image Source)
"Truth or Dare" is a dumpster fire that deserves a slow and terrible death. This movie is not scary, it isn't interesting, and it isn't unique in any way. For the first 99 minutes, it's goofy, horribly acted, and insanely inconsistent, but we didn't totally hate ourselves while sitting in the theater. All that changes with the most eye-rolling, "screw you" ending possible, making us flip from being only slightly annoyed to exasperatedly irate. This is one of the worst movies of 2018.

My Rating: 1.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 1.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~4.4/10
RT Rating: ~15%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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