More Than A Game - Truth Or Dare
I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that Blumhouse has been killing it lately. Both their characters, and the box office, stand no chance when facing horror's most prolific studio. And while Happy Death Day is solidly on brand for the outfit, it is certainly from the Blumhouse-minor wing of the studio. This is not Get Out, Insidious, or even The Purge. This is more in line with Happy Death Day. But what's different this time is that this is a lot less fun. These calories feel a lot more empty and the underlying message is a lot less meaningful. Beyond learning the initial rules that animate the story, there isn't a whole lot to be excited about.
Imagine a world where the high school party game of "Truth Or Dare" becomes a high stakes life or death game you can't opt out of. While vacationing in Mexico, Olivia an her friends get sucked into a supernatural version of the game that becomes just that. When it's your turn, messages will appear that only you can see and when you choose truth or dare, you have to follow through on the game's challenge or you die.
Once they understand the rules, Olivia and her friends must work to survive their turn while also working to stop the game. Along the way, the game pits them against one another and pushes them to do more and more dangerous tasks. When they've had enough, the film sends them on a high stakes mission to unlock the truth behind the game before its too late.
Reminiscent of the Final Destination franchise, this is part of the horror sub-genre that is essentially just killing attractive young people every 7 minutes. These movies can be fun if that's the goal. Where Truth or Dare falters is that it is taking itself entirely too seriously. Killing the one character that provided comic relief pretty early on left us with a bunch of self-serious idiots who didn't really move the needle.
Luckily, the movie is only 100 minutes, which is cause for celebration these days. But it's a shame they didn't figure out how to pack those 100 mins. with just a little more. There are so many things here that are almost good. For instance, there is a scene that would have played much more interestingly with a character of a different race. But the movie seems uninterested in saying anything about our world. Instead, it focuses on the interpersonal melodrama between these characters who are only mildly interesting. Each one is given their one thing that makes them 'different'--drinking problem, dead parent, etc.--but they are still a decidedly monochromatic bunch.
You could definitely do worse than giving this your time. If you enjoy everything else Blumhouse puts out, you might find something to like here, but this really could have been so much more.
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