Review: Blumhouse’s “Truth Or Dare” Starring Lucy Hale

Horror is a genre that definitely has ebbs and flows in both
popularity and quality, from the 50’s sci-fi/horror phase to the glorious
superstar monsters of the 80s, all the way up to the current generation of
supernatural horror that has been, without a doubt, lead by Jason Blum and his
Blumhouse Productions brand. 20 years from now when they are defining horror in
the 2010’s Blumhouse that leads the mentions in quality scares. In a way,
that’s why this flick is so important, this is the first of what I’m sure will
be many films with the title accolade of “Blumhouse Presents”. Not that one bad
movie can sully the name, but it would be a plus to come out of the gate with
an insta-classic. You can probably already guess from the title that this isn’t
a classic, but is it worth a watch?
Oh that classic teenage game that results in one of three
things, having to divulge your crush to a large group, streaking, or the ever
popular getting two girls to kiss. You know, I started writing that line as a
joke but now that I think of it….they do all three of those things during the
movie. Guess I wasn’t too office base. Lucy Hale stars as Olivia an
over-the-top nice college co-ed who plans on skipping spring break to volunteer
with Habitat for Humanity. Her best friend Marky, who is still reeling from the
suicide death of her father, is having none of it and convinces her to go with
their group to Mexico. On their final night Olivia is playing the wallflower
when she meets a guy named Carter at the bar who seems nice enough. After a few
drinks and last call their new friend invites her and her group back to an
afterparty, one that just happens to take place in an old creepy abandon
convent. They arrive to an empty room, which is usually the part where most
people would say “screw this, I’m out” but instead decide to go along with
Carter’s idea to play Truth or Dare. Some salacious things happen and some
secrets are revealed and the crew leave…but the game leaves with them. Soon
after arriving back in college they are taunted by strangers and messages out
of nowhere with the message “Truth of Dare”. It’s not long before they realize
they are still in the game, and if they don’t fulfill their turn they die.
I can’t say that I expected a lot from this flick, you can
generally tell a lot about a horror movie based on its premise and trailers,
more so then most other genres, but man this one missed the mark. I will say
that the cast was good, considering what they were given to work with but that
is about the best accolade I can give Truth
or Dare
. When you make a horror movie you need to have at least one of two
things for it to be enjoyable; a great story or good and imaginative kills. The
story here is so thin you can almost hear someone pitch it, “Yeah it’s like a
drunk game of Truth or Dare except you can die”, and that’s about all the
backstory they had to go on. The PG-13 rating is a deathblow to the creative
kills option but they didn’t even try in that respect. An inventive filmmaker can
show a lot and still get a PG-13 rating but what they did here was so
forgettable I can’t even rattle off the different deaths only two days after
seeing it. The worst offender of the film has got to be the effect they use to
show the demon running the game, he possesses random people to deliver his
Truth or Dare message and when he does that person has a giant grin, think of a
comic book version of the Joker but without the creepy makeup. It simply does
not work. Look, a person glaring at you with a huge smile and dead eyes can be
one of the creepiest things this side of a child standing in a dark room all
alone but whatever they were going for they didn’t get. It’s comical, maybe it
wasn’t unnatural enough to pass the muster, maybe they should have gone bigger,
I’m just surprised they didn’t review the effect before release and say…”Yeah,
you know what, this isn’t working”. Hell, the characters in the film even refer
to it as looking like some messed up snapchat filter, which is exactly what it
looks like. It was impossible to take even the most suspenseful of the movies
scenes seriously when you are confronted with that smile.
I will say that I didn’t check my watch or become distracted
by how numb my butt had gotten, both signs of a movie that is terribly boring,
but I can’t say I enjoyed it or that it’s something I’d ever see again.
Blumhouse has a good enough reputation at this point that they can take a flop
or two and keep on trucking, I’m just praying that this flick is not a sign of
things to come with the production company that’s become synonymous with
scaring the hell out of people. There are other options out there, given the
choice I’d recommend you skip Truth or
Dare

Rating: 1.5 Out of 5

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