The latest of the Blumhouse horror tales follows Olivia and her group of friends as they embark on their final spring break together in Mexico. On their last day before heading back home, the group are tricked into playing a seemingly harmless game of everyone’s favourite ‘truth or dare’, but it quickly becomes clear that something is not quite right. Little did they know that in playing the game they awoke a great and violent evil, whose take on ‘truth or dare’ can be deadly: tell the truth or die, do the dare or die, if you refuse you die.
From producing such critically acclaimed films as Get Out and Split, to some, well, pretty dire ones that you wouldn’t recognise, even if I told you, it’s safe to say that Blumhouse have been pretty hit and miss since they first produced Paranormal Activity back in 2009. Now if you read the brief synopsis above I’m pretty sure you could guess which way ‘Truth or Dare’ is going to go, in which case maybe our 2-paw rating won’t come as much of a surprise to you, but just in case you had any doubts, let me break it down for you.
First and foremost, Truth or Dare does absolutely nothing new or intuitive. It is not revolutionary, nor does it better the film industry in the slightest (in fact quite the opposite). For lack of a better word, I would go so far as to describe Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare as somewhat of an insult, likened to a slap in the face and feeling more like a pile of slop than anything worth a trip to the cinema for.
One of my biggest gripes with the inconsistency in the acting. I don’t think I have ever seen such a messy mixture of solid, believable characters facing their real life struggles with others who don’t seem to give two craps about the fact all their friends are dying. There’s one scene in particular: Olivia and her friends (or what’s left of them) just barely manage to save one of the key characters from falling to her death whilst she completed a dare, given to her by the evil demon (more on that later). Its quite a pulse-racing scene to be fair, really tense and nail-biting, with lots of panic as the Olivia and co do everything they can. Now the problem is that, almost immediately after, said key character gets shot and dies almost instantly, AND NO-ONE SEEMS TO CARE! Olivia literally holds her lifeless body in her arms like she’s a redundant jacket that you bring with you because the weather could change at any minute (damn unpredictable United Kingdom weather).
I don’t know what I was really expecting when it’s revealed that this deadly and never ending game of Truth or Dare is all thanks to a demon and the idiot person that summoned said demon many decades prior. I mean evil ghosts and demons are quite a common theme throughout a huge percentage of Blumhouse’s productions, there’s just something about this one that feels rather naff, maybe the whole supernatural thing is getting a little played out by now eh Blummy?
Truth or Dare does have some redeeming features however: at times, as I previously mentioned, the film does get quite tense with the build up of certain events really pulling you to the edge of your seat. Another strong aspect is its shock value. Obviously, banking on shocking scenes, especially when they are every-other scene feels like a cheap trick for getting younger individuals to part from their money so they something to talk about to their friends, however they did do them well. I found myself near cringe with just how brutal and fairly unexpected some scenes were and although they were much less intricate, they were slightly reminiscent of SAW levels of shocking.
TLDR; With few things going for it, I would say give Truth or Dare a miss. A 100 minute long piece of uninspired, rehashed ideas, with a light sprinkle of intensity and a slim helping of shock value.