There are a few modern horror films in this time that either really challenge the concepts of modern horror flicks (Get Out) or just straight up produce the scares that it means to (It). Then there are a lot of films out there that are formulaic and full of tropes. Truth or Dare unfortunately is the latter. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With the likes of the Conjuring series and the Insidious series there is obviously a market for more pulp and cheap scares in the genre. There’s something addictive about films that simply get your heart pumping. Truth or Dare is more down this line of styling and even then, it’s still a bit weak in that field.
Truth or Dare follows Olivia (Lucy Hale) and a group of her friends after they participate in a game of Truth or Dare inside an abandoned missionary. By doing this they unwittingly join a deadly game where an evil demon forces them to continue playing less he possess and kill them. The rules are pretty simple, answer the question honestly or perform the task or die. It feels a lot like Final Destination. A character will either find a way to survive the challenge and pass the buck to the next person or not. It’s somewhat hit or miss with either intriguing tasks or ones which are just sort of uninspired.
One thing I must mention is the moral ambiguity of the film. This is basically the main theme of the story. What would you be willing to do to save yourself? However how this is handled is somewhat lopsided. For example, one of the characters is dared to have sex with her best friend’s boyfriend less the demon kills her. Now yes this is a completely impossible hypothetical in the real world but even with that in mind I would say this is still considered rape by coercion. Now a chance to really highlight how terrifying this premise is, is just somewhat overlooked and pushed to the side. There are another couple examples of this where subjects like depression and sexual harassment and not handled in the most appropriate manner.
Truth or Dare is a film that will scratch the itch that most horror fans crave. Some of the premises and scenarios are a bit silly but it has enough scares to stay interesting. Lucy Hale is basically playing her character from Pretty Little Liars which is good enough to draw that crowd to see this film. So come for some cheap scares and some cheaper laughs. Truth or Dare has enough to get it over the finish line.
Check out the official site here.