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Published On: Thu, Apr 12th, 2018

‘Truth or Dare’ fails at every scream

Truth or Dare tells the story of a typical group of college students sharing their last Spring Break together in Mexico.  Everyone’s having a good time until they meet a young man who takes them to an abandoned mission to hang out and keep the party going.  While they continue drinking, they initiate a game of Truth or Dare. Once everyone has taken a turn, our mystery man quickly takes off while begging for forgiveness.  

From here the story becomes a demonic version of Final Destination.  There are a handful of startling moments that make you jump, but the entire story is predictable.  The character development is very heavy, but with so many characters to develop and kill, the information specific to each one is almost forced onto the viewer in an uncomfortable way.  

Each character brings their own historical drama to the story that “the game” preys upon and eventually uses to cause their demise. As in all teenage horror flicks, the cast is eventually narrowed down to one or two who must make a desperate decision for survival.  You’re happy when the jerks get taken out, but the movie is so predictable that you really don’t even care when the “good guy” bites the dust, either.

The only surprise for me was how little they used blood, gore, and sex.  Those are normally staples of this type of film. While they were still part of the show, they played very small roles.  

The blood and gore was more implied and the camera shot away very quickly. That worked in the film’s favor because without a huge special effects budget (makeup or digital), our imaginations can create far more gruesome images than a film-maker.  

The single “love” scene was relatively tame with no true nudity exposed. When’s the last time you saw a film like this and didn’t see at least a few topless females? So, I would have to say they get a solid “B” for trying to stimulate our imaginations while staying on budget.  I can’t give them an “A” unless they terrify me as much as Sinister did a few years back.

Opening April 13, 2018, the weekend shows will probably be packed with teenagers who will love it.  However, more mature fans of the horror/thriller genre should probably let this one pass by. Honestly, most adults won’t even enjoy watching it at home unless you’re hosting a slumber party and you enjoy watching teenagers watch this type of horror film and try to out-scream each other as their popcorn flies across the living room.

Truth or Dare earns 2 stars out of 5 stars

Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) and Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf) lead the cast of Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare, from Blumhouse Productions (Happy Death Day, Get Out, Split).

Directed by Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2), the thriller co-stars Violett Beane, Nolan Gerard Funk, Hayden Szeto and Sophia Taylor Ali. The film was produced by Blumhouse’s Jason Blum and executive produced by Wadlow.

Author: Debbie Sage

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- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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