For quite a while I was sure Blumhouse’s ‘Truth or Dare’ (2018) was meant to be a sequel to the 2011 movie. I have no idea why I was under that impression, especially considering there was another ‘Truth or Dare’ made in 2013. The latter was awarded and critically acclaimed. It is even considered to be a masterpiece of gore by some (not me). Anyway, I’d hoped this ‘Truth or Dare’ would be at least as good as the one from 2011, which even wasn’t great, just fine. Buuuuuut, nope. After such jewels like ‘Get Out’ (2017), ‘Insidious (2011), ‘The Purge’ (2013), ‘Oculus’ (2014), and ‘Split’ (2017)…what happened Blumhouse? What happened dammit?
It started off interestingly enough. Kinda. I think the awkwardly modified “demonic” voice was a pushover, so when it spoke I was probably supposed to freak out, but I just “meh”-ed through that scene. When the weird girl poured gasoline on the women setting her on fire, I think most of us expected to see something…anything! But nope. And they continued in that manner throughout the movie, cutting out anything that was even remotely interesting.
However, the stuff they did let us see, was laughable at best. They tried to display some freaky murders, almost like they were trying to create that ‘The Final Destination’ vibe but failed miserably. Ronnie was the first who died, and we already saw that one coming because he was such an obvious douche. His character was also too much of everything, but luckily, he didn’t last long. His death scene was so hilarious that he probably WAS laughing while plunging from the bar into his death. I also laughed like crazy when Tyler died by sticking a pen into his eye, and since you probably think I’m a creep at this point, let me explain myself. All of these people died with the most ridiculous CGI-made smile on their faces, and I mean most ridiculous EVER in the history of cinema. How the hell are we supposed to be scared of something that looks like a perverted Snapchat filter?
Or maybe it’s the trailer…Maybe the trailer showed too much. I think that’s a general problem of cinema today – making a mind-blowing trailer that won’t show too much. The element of surprise is lost because we are already familiar with the whole premise of the movie when we finally get to watch it.
One of my first impressions once I started watching ‘Truth or Dare’ was the music was completely off. It almost felt like the movie started and they let the soundtrack roll five minutes too late. To a novice in the horror genre that might sound like nothing, but when it comes to a horror movie, a lousy soundtrack is a deadly sin. Just ask John Carpenter. Good music is a vital part of a good horror movie. Anyway, it seems that Jeff Wadlow (the director) and Carpenter don’t hang together much.
The cast, on the other hand, was well picked. They gave some excellent performances for what it is worth. Luci Hale (‘Pretty Little Liars’) and Tyler Posey (‘Teen Wolf’) were both decent and gave some depth to their poorly written characters. The highlight of the movie was Violett Beane’s acting, and in my humble opinion, she gave more to this movie than it ever deserved. Her performance seemed honest, and she even makes us forgive the film for some lame parts during which we feel the director is underestimating our intelligence. At one point her character, Markie, suggests her friends Google search “Truth or Dare Mexico” to find the dude who started it all (?!?!), and they actually try it. I mean, what the… But Bean keeps on delivering till the end, so we choose to overlook Markie’s obvious shallowness. In the end, although the cast members did try, the writers didn’t. That leaves us strangely indifferent to the character and their deaths.
This movie is mediocre at best. Mildly entertaining, with the idea we already saw executed by some other (better) movies, without any gore whatsoever, lacking sense and depth….I could go on dissing, but what’s the point? I’m actually very sorry that Blumhouse had such a blunder, but I do not doubt that they will recover quickly.
My honorable mention goes to Landon Liboiron, who we all know and worship from ‘Hemlock Grove.’ He gave a great performance, all things considered, and we gotta love him for that.