We’ve all played truth or dare. It’s a game as simple as it sounds. You pick truth, you answer with the truth. You pick dare, you follow through with the dare. But the movie adaptation of this not-at-all threatening game adds a supernatural twist. A group of teenagers vacationing it up in Mexico uncover an evil entity that’s latched itself to the game (yes, it’s as stupid as it sounds), forcing them to participate in an endless loop. If they follow along, they live, but if they refuse to play, they die, and one by one their numbers start falling and death catches up to them.
The Conjuring took the simple idea of a haunted house and the investigators who help solve it, and they created one of the scariest modern horror films in recent memory. Truth or Dare is an original premise, I’ll give it that, but its stupidity is impossible to ignore. The scariest idea the four (!!) screenwriters were able to conjure up is having the words ‘truth or dare’ ominously written in places it wasn’t previously. No joke, that’s the only scare used in the entirety of the first act, made hilarious through an over the top score that reeks with melodrama.
Even in terms of filmmaking, editing and acting, this film just falls apart. The cinematography is awkward, almost as if improvised on the spot and then changed halfway through the shot, which is made even worse through unbalanced colour correcting that’s drab, ugly and doesn’t always match with the rest of the scene. Some of the acting is bearable, I guess, despite none of the characters having any likeability about them, but the dialogue drags their performances into the ground and absolutely destroys everything they stand for. If you actually make it to the end of this film unscathed, I applaud your bravery.
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