Film review: Truth or Dare is a crushingly dull and forgettable slasher-horror
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From Damien Chazelle’s drama Whiplash (2014) to Joel Edgerton’s dark revenge thriller The Gift (2015) and Jordan Peele’s chilling social thriller Get Out (2017), Blumhouse Productions has produced some of the best films of the last four years.
One would have hoped that this streak would continue with Jeff Wadlow’s Truth or Dare; unfortunately this is not the case.
The film focuses on a group of friends – Olivia (Lucy Hale), Markie (Violet Beane), Lucas (Tyler Posey), Penelope (Sophia Taylor Ali), Brad (Hayden Szeto) and Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk) – who are terrorized by a demonically possessed game of truth or dare.
It is an intriguing premise, but the reality is that the titular game is neither scary nor, as one character astutely observes, exciting; watching Wadlow try to convince us otherwise with clichéd soundtrack cues and risible visual effects is tedious.
More problematic is Wadlow, Jillian Jacobs, Chris Roach and Michael Reisz’s uninventive, cloth-eared script that fails in its attempt to provide each of the central characters with a profound and moving backstory, making them register as nothing more than a group of unlikeable and bland character types which the mediocre cast are unable to breath life into.
That is not to say the film is without merit – there are some enjoyably gruesome casualties throughout and Wadlow’s decision to end the film on a dark note is effective; but these are not enough to detract from the fact that Truth or Dare is a crushingly dull and forgettable slasher-horror.