Truth or Dare came out on April 13, 2018, and is about a very vicious game of truth or dare. The director is Jeff Waldow, who has directed many movies in this genre. The company that produced the film is Blumhouse Productions, who also produced Get Out (2017) and Insidious: The Last Key (2018). The producers are Couper Samuelson and Jason Blum. The screenplay was written by Michael Reisz, Jillian Jacobs, and Jeff Waldow. It had a budget of $3.5 million.
Perhaps movie fans would’ve thought that a film with a budget of $3.5 million, and produced by people who have expertise in making horror movies, could produce another good movie. However, they struck out with this one. This was not a horror movie, it was just labeled as a “horror movie”. It was not in any way original, like Happy Death Day (also produced by Blumhouse, 2017). The film follows a group of friends going to Mexico for spring break. While they are there, they play a game of truth or dare. Unfortunately, this releases a demon who turns this game into a deadly one.
That is incredibly unrealistic. Horror movies must play on psychological fears in order to scare people. They have to be based off realistic or logical reasoning. The game of truth or dare in Mexico is realistic and could happen. Sure, they characters could play a game of truth or dare in Mexico. Strangely, they played it in an abandoned church, where the demon was trapped. The first part is not as realistic. Why would they be playing truth or dare in an abandoned church? How did they get in, why did they want to, and isn’t that breaking and entering?
The story goes on, and the man, Carter, who brought the main characters into the church explains the rules to a main character, Olivia. Once a player are asked “truth or dare”, she’s in the game. If the player choses dare and then refuses to do the dare, she dies. If the two people before her choose truth, you she must choose a dare. If the player doesn’t choose either truth or dare, the consequence is still the same- death. These death scenes involved no gore, no jump scares, and barely any blood.
In scene one of the movie, it shows a girl who is dared to burn another person in a store. It would’ve been much more scary if they focused in on the body burning, but instead they dropped the subject really quickly. The writers could’ve played some ominous music, or let the viewers watch the body burn. They really could’ve used this scene to their advantage. I don’t think that the writers handled suspense as well as they could have. Another example of the misuse of suspense is when the characters did not complete dares, they died on the spot. I think that the writers could’ve made the characters die slowly instead of killing them on the spot.
I also did not like when the characters were asked ‘truth or dare?’ They were asked when they were either all alone or when they were in a vulnerable position. It was interesting at first, but eventually I found a pattern. The movie only showed them alone and vulnerable when they were being asked, but not at any other time. If the movie showed the characters vulnerable at other points besides when they were being asked, I think it would have made a pattern less visible.
I think that the idea of truth or dare as the basis for a horror movie is interesting, but too broad. I think that the directors could’ve played with this idea a lot more than they did and would’ve made it the film more entertaining.