Two years ago this month, I turned on a film that I thought was this one, but turned out to be the SYFY original, Truth or Dare (2017). It was abysmal, though I was keen on the premise. Finally, I decided to watch the version I originally had intended to – 2018’s Truth or Dare. It was bound to be a better film, right? Very wrong. This film is just as bland and inept as the other, despite its bigger budget and the Blumhouse stamp of approval.
Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare follows a group of college students on their spring break adventure down to Mexico. Olivia (Lucy Hale) is guilted into going by her best friend Markie (Violett Beane), as it is their senior year. Rounding out the group is Markie’s boyfriend Lucas (Tyler Posey), as well as a few more buddies.
While in Mexico, they head to a local club for a night of dancing. At the bar, Olivia meets Carter (Landon Liboiron) who convinces her and her friends to venture to an old church for drinks. There, Carter suggests a game of “truth or dare”. After a few innocent truths and mild dares, Carter admits that they’ve now been roped into a dangerous supernatural game where they must complete the truths or dares – or die.
It’s amazing how two films, with such a similar concept, can come out so close to one another and both be so dull. For this film, you have a group of characters who are so unlikable and hardly developed, aside from a few contrived backstories and a possibly love triangle.
This does nothing for the viewer in terms of establishing a connection, so that you eventually have an emotional reaction to their deaths. So if they’re so underdeveloped, you’d at least expect the deaths to be inventive or memorable, Final Destination style. But again, the film fails to deliver.
Also in regards to unlikable characters, the film tries so hard to make Hale this somewhat vapid college student. With painful dialogue that attempts to name drop all types of social media lingo to establish her as an “influencer” – but it’s clearly written by people who are not remotely close to the age group. It is so frustrating and obvious throughout.
I think I’ve lost all hope that anyone can make a decent film based on the game of truth or dare. I’m even more nervous that this film warrants an in-the-works sequel. There were so many opportunities to take this game to a truly horrifying level, and be unique. I mean, both films have such similar dares, like “I dare you to destroy someone’s hand”, that it’s just silly. And just like the other film, I reiterate, I do not dare you to watch Truth or Dare – 2017 or 2018, just save yourself the time.
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