I had some time to kill before I went to see Truth or Dare, so I went to a video store to see if I could find any movies on my 20 Summer Films list for cheap. Instead, a female employee started talking to me about films, the Criterion collection, and bad horror movies. She was somewhere between the ages of sixteen and thirty four (I don’t know, once you hit 21, you just assume everyone is your age plus-or-minus five). We even talked about our mutual disdain for The Bye Bye Man (as well as a bunch of horror movies I’ve never even heard of). But finally, I told her the movie was about to start, so I had to go. She told me that if the store was still open when I got out, to come back and tell her whether or not Truth or Dare was bad.
I looked at her name tag, and said, “Alex [I extend my hand], my name is Steve. It was nice to meet you.”
She paused for a second, shook my hand and said, “Oh, okay.”
Guys, did I ruin that interaction? Did I screw up? Is shaking hands something that only old people and creeps do nowadays?
I don’t know this stuff, guys… trust me, it wasn’t like I was a hit with the ladies when I was single. I don’t even know how I found one that was willing to marry me.
Anyway, Alex, if you somehow find this and are reading this:
1. I’m sorry if my handshake made you feel uncomfortable, truly. I was just trying to be polite.
2. Yes, Truth or Dare was godawful.
The whole idea of there being a horror movie around the game “truth or dare” already sounds kind of stupid (obviously). However, if some creative, talented writer actually tried, I could see them making some sort of neat concept out of this. Of course, this project was given to morons, so instead, we get teenage horror tropes movie #5047. There are so many overused tropes in this movie that a very large portion of it reminded me of a satirical film called The Cabin in the Woods… in a way that made me wish I was watching that movie instead of Truth or Dare.
To name a few, there’s the “pure-hearted virgin” trope, the “slut”, the “nice guy”, the “annoying asshole”, and the “stoner” (and the movie even took the lazy route and only TALKED about him being a druggie).
Truth or Dare at least attempts to make sense with how a game like “truth or dare” could be created into a death game, but the rules for this game and the powers of the demon are so thoughtless in their execution that the whole scenario ended up being boring.
There’s a scene where a guy locks himself in an abandoned hotel in order to stay away from the truth-or-dare game (and that somehow worked)… even though before that, there’s a scene where a guy was ignoring the truth-or-dare whispers in his headphones, so the demon literally scrawls it into his arm and writes the “truth” he has to do in graffiti on a concrete wall.
The entirety of who ends up picking truth, dare, etc. either expanded on some token character development, or created some token suspense.
Every single “horror” moment was a jump scare. The vast majority of jump scares were fake jump scares. The rest of them were actual jump scares, but they made no sense. There was also a fragment of scenes where something “scary” would appear in the background that the character didn’t see, so the scare was just for the audience.
It was all just cheap, overdone gimmicks.
Additionally, I have no idea how they thought people with over-exagerrated smiles would be creepy. Half of the time, it just came across as comical instead.
The script is almost entirely exposition. All the character development is told to you. None of it was shone whatsoever.
The acting was TERRIBLE. The guy who played “the nice guy” was the worst actor. I didn’t believe a single word that came out of his mouth. I know it’s stereotypical to hire a hot girl in a movie because of her looks… well this guy was definitely picked for his looks.
The soundtrack was lazy and thoughtless.
The cinematography… wasn’t bad… honestly, it felt like a seeing a movie that knew HOW a camera was supposed to move, but didn’t know WHY those camera movements are effective.
The ending was stuuuuuupid. It was incredulous, like I didn’t think the movie could have gotten more stupid, and then it threw that ending in, and boy oh boy, was I wrong.
So of course, Truth or Dare is just a cheap, lazy, dumb horror film. It was made because it only cost $3.5 million to make, and it has already made ten times that in the states alone. Movies like this are going to keep getting made because they’re so easy to turn a profit on, and that is TOTALLY fine with me… but I wish these horror films weren’t so lazy.
I would have more fun with these movies if they were hilariously bad and over-the-top. Truth or Dare though, while it does have its moments of unintentional comedy, is mostly defined by how boring and surface-level it is. There’s nothing unique, crazy, memorable, or insane about it. It’s just 100 minutes of lightly-entertaining boredom.