REVIEW: The Only Losers With ‘Truth Or Dare’ Are The Viewers

Was this whole movie a joke? Honestly, at points I thought it came across more like a comedy than a horror film.

As the title suggests, “Truth or Dare” revolves around the well known kids game. The film follows a group of college students, with a focus on one named Olivia (Lucy Hale). While on spring break in Mexico, they wind up getting cursed into playing a dangerous, haunted game of Truth or Dare.

They soon find out that if they respond with “Truth,” they have to reveal awful secrets, and if “Dare,” they have to do something immensely risky. If they refuse to do either, they will die.

I’m not usually one to jump on a film when it borrows ideas or aspects from another movie or other piece of entertainment. For example, I still enjoyed “Happy Death Day,” from last year, despite it using the idea of reliving the same day from “Groundhog Day.”

However, with “Truth or Dare,” it seemed to take that too far, as the movie’s set up felt way too close to that of the horror film from a couple of years ago, “It Follows.” Just like in “It Follows,” the lead protagonist in “Truth or Dare” is tricked into being cursed and her and her friends need to learn how to protect themselves.

The difference is that “It Follows” had its own identity and charm, where as “Truth or Dare” came off so much more like a generic product. Underneath the whole ‘cursed game’ trope, this is just another average horror film where characters die off one-by-one.

Plus, after seeing such a strong picture in “A Quiet Place” not long ago, it’s quite noticeable when a low quality horror comes in like this a short time later. In contrast to that flick, this had no sense of style.

Although, I don’t know if this should have been classified as a horror, since nothing was really scary about it. In fact more often than not, I was laughing. This was especially true when the Truth or Dare game would start, as the character asking “truth or dare” would get this goofy look on their face with this giant grin. They looked like a knock-off Joker at points and I thought they were going to ask “why so serious?” instead of “truth or dare?” at times.

This wasn’t self aware, referential comedy either. This was no “Cabin in the Woods.”

On top of the movie’s horror producing more humor than anything, the film’s attempts at scaring an audience are sapped by the story’s continuous melodrama. Olivia and her best friend Markie (Violett Beane) start fighting over secrets from the truth or dare game and it all gets to be tiresome real quick.

As for the acting, it’s pretty standard stuff here for the horror level. Nothing stands out, though. It’s made worse, too, in that the dialogue isn’t very smart and the majority of the characters are shallow.

That last sentence sums it up. Nothing stands out. This is a run of the mill movie that uses an idea that’s been executed better in other films, and some of its attempts at scares are laughable. 1 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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