Tuesday, October 29, 2019

TRUTH OR DARE (2018) Blu-ray Review

Scare-A-Thon Totals to Date:

Total Movies Watched: 27
Total First Time Views: 13
Amount raised for AMAZON WATCH: $2,234.52

Truth or Dare (2018) d. Jeff Wadlow (USA) (100 min) (1st viewing)

While on spring break in Mexico, a group of graduating seniors decide to visit an abandoned cathedral at the urging of Carter (Landon Liboiron), a handsome young stranger who then suggests the group play a game of “Truth or Dare” in order to get the party started. Much to their dismay, the vacationing pals quickly discover that the game is more than a harmless party pastime: if a person does not tell the truth, they die. If they refuse to do the dare, they die. And the cycle is relentless, moving from person to person regardless of success or failure, digging up unpleasant secrets and proposing increasingly perilous scenarios as the surviving circle slowly diminishes….

It’s not a great premise for a horror film, but it’s certain not the worst either. And that’s pretty much where this offering from Blumhouse Production lands – squarely in the middle of the road. Filling us up without really nourishing, it’s a body-count movie where the creative kills are muted by a PG-13 rating and where director/co-writer Wadlow (Cry Wolf, Kick-Ass 2) seemingly wants us to relate to our cast of bland if diverse teen characters while at the same time delighting in their inevitable demises. (On that mention of diversity, it’s worth noting that our four lead characters are straight and white, while we get double our buck bang by having a gay Asian character, played by Hayden Szeto, whose most notable characteristics are that he is gay and Asian.)

Considering how uninspired and flimsy it all feels (producer Jason Blum reveals in a making-of featurette that the entire project was generated by a Universal marketing executive saying that if the studio could come up with a movie called Truth or Dare, “they could probably do something with it.”), I suppose it’s some sort of accomplishment that the final product zips along as handily as it does. The convention of ordinary bystanders’ faces suddenly contorting into cartoonish grins with “evil” glowing eyes is pretty silly and look, as one character puts it, “like a creepy SnapChat filter,” but it happens with such regularity that we are eventually bludgeoned into accepting it.

The cast, headlined by Pretty Little Liars’ human bobblehead Lucy Hale and Teen Wolf’s Tyler Posey, are attractive and disposable, and it’s telling that we are expected to empathize with their predilection for self-preservation over harming others. “Between the world and you, I choose you,” is the phrase that Markie (Violett Beane) declares to her best friend, and while intended to be cute and charming in the moment, the sentiment’s inherent nihilism in the film’s denouement is more than a little revolting. In a film about choices, it’s curious that our “heroes” elect to doom anyone and everyone else rather than sacrifice themselves, and that we, the viewers, are supposed to understand and applaud the decision.


Unrated Director's Cut (1:40:32) and Theatrical Version (1:40:01)

Audio Commentary with writer/director Jeff Wadlow and actress Lucy Hale

“Game On: The Making of Truth or Dare” (7 min):

“Directing the Deaths” (4 min)

Truth or Dare is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Pictures and can be found on most major retail platforms.


No comments:

Post a Comment