Universal Pictures in association with Blumhouse Productions presents Truth or Dare from director Jeff Wadlow. College senior Oliva (Lucy Hale) is planning on using her final spring break to build homes with Habitat for Humanity, when her friend Markie (Violet Beane) convinces her to tag along with their friends to Mexico instead. While in Mexico, Olive meets the charming Carter, who convinces Oliva and her friends to play a game of Truth or Dare in a cave.
Carter ends up revealing his true intentions in the cave, the friends have to either tell the truth or take a dare, but if you refuse, then you die. Naturally, at first one, no one believes Oliva, and the setup of Oliva revealing a secret was handled well. Oliva’s truth smoothly transitions into a dare for the film’s comic relief Ronnie, who ultimately fails. Ronnie’s fate forces the friend to band together to stop the punishment of those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.
I initially had hopes for Truth or Dare as Blumhouse has produced some great horror films over the last few years. Sadly, Truth or Dare is a mediocre addition to the production company’s catalog. While Lucy Hale is convincing as our heroine and scream queen, outside of Beane as her best friend, the rest of the cast isn’t given too much to do.
Oliva’s friends all seem to be on autopilot throughout the film. One character has an arc that involves coming out of the closet, to his policemen father. However, the way the arc is executed is poor. Truth or Dare has your standard horror movie characterizations, but no one is developed before they meet up their fate.
I will give some credit to director Jeff Wadlow for an excellent return to the horror genre after 13 years. Wadlow whose last films have either the action or comedy genre can still craft an active sequence of suspense. One particular moment was one of the best “got you moments in recent memory. I also enjoyed Wadlow’s trickery to show the evil forces behind the game. Wadlow’s style of filmmaking deserves a much better writer.
Given first-time feature scriptwriter Michael Reisz’s television background, I was expecting a sharp script. Leaving the theater, I realized that Truth or Dare may have worked better as a Netflix series. The potential is there for a good film, and with the film’s budget, I’m sure it will generate enough revenue for a sequel.
Truth or Dare isn’t necessarily a total misfire, but it is very mediocre. Blumhouse seemed to know that with the Friday the 13th release date that horror fans will come out to support them. I do feel that the under crowd will enjoy this film the most. Why I’ve never had an issue with PG-13 horror movies, I do know that Blumhouse is capable of and horror fans deserve better than what was given with Truth or Dare.
Unless you are a diehard horror movie fanatic, I sincerely hope you are prepared to be let down with Truth or Dare.
Final Grade: C