Well, I can't even say they've reached the bottom of the barrel for horror movies yet with a stupid plot about the game Truth or Dare. Because the moment I say that, we'll get a totally serious movie based on Hungry Hungry Hippos or Pogs, and then that will be the new bar for the barrel's bottom. But what I can tell you is that this movie is seriously rotten from the inside out.
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Starring: Lucy Hale, Violett Beane
Co-written with Michelle.
Truth or Dare, if you haven't seen the absolutely bonkers trailers that have been out for months, is about a bunch of kids who go to Mexico and contract a deadly spiritual curse that forces them to play the game Truth or Dare forever until they all die. Personally I would've rather had an STD.
It starts out with a bunch of models for a fancy skin cream solution – oh, I'm sorry, did I say that? I meant our main characters. Seriously, they look like they just came out of a fucking factory line for a commercial, only to be stuffed back in the box after it's over. Was there something wrong with having them look like they had ever been out of a locked laboratory room, or do physical imperfections scare Blumhouse Pictures more than anything?
They're all going to Mexico for Spring Break, and the biggest hurdle they had was convincing their Habitat for Humanity-loving friend Olivia to go, as she wanted to go build houses and other boring, stupid shit. What a dork! So they cancelled her trip to do that and instead now force her to go to Mexico. I guess they promise to help her out later, but eh, I wouldn't trust these people further than I could throw them.
In Mexico, you get some dumb shots of them partying and stuff. You know, the best part of any horror movie; the meaningless shots of hot people having fun. Truly essential. Olivia meets this guy Carter, who entices her to get all her friends to follow him to a creepy abandoned church in the middle of the fucking night for vague reasons. Honestly, my biggest question is how this girl made it to college if she was dumb enough to do this, because literally no sane person would meet some dude sitting alone at a bar, get an invite to come to some desolate broken-down-ass church at 2 a.m., and then think 'sounds like a fun vacation!' Even the most low-standards, base-level people would start to shy away from you if you suggested leaving the fucking bar.
But nope, they play Truth or Dare sitting in this filthy fucking hovel, like a bunch of idiots with no imagination. It's about what you'd expect, some lap dances and make-out scenes and other nonsense. But then Carter surprises them by saying he wanted to lure them all there to trap them in the supernatural curse and FORCE them to play! What a weirdo. Gee, it sure is bizarre that this stuff happens when you follow creepy strangers in the middle of the night.
I guess the rule is that if they DON'T do their truth or dare, they die. So it's kind of like It Follows, except it's terrible. When possessed by the game, the characters' faces turn into demonic, cartoonish Joker-ish grins, which is never explained and has no function outside of looking kinda spooky if you're under 15. I guess that's a weak nitpick. But I dunno, it's weird and doesn't make sense and the movie sucks overall, anyway.
So then they all go home and everything seems to be getting back to normal. Only then, they start seeing creepy things like 'Truth or Dare' etched into desks, fliers and even Olivia's car! She finally chooses truth, and ends up blurting out in the library that Markie, her best friend, has been cheating on her boyfriend. Wow, what a great scare – bullshit teeny-bopper drama! That's scarier than anything.
So from here on out, you get a bunch of just plain goofy scenes. The most annoying guy in the group gets dared to take his dick out at a bar. When he doesn't, the game kills him by making him fall off a pool table and break his neck! An equivalent punishment, at last!
Another guy, a gay dude, picks 'truth' and is forced to come out to his strict conservative father. Apparently it goes pretty well and things are alright. Wow. What a nuanced and surprisingly level-headed plot choice for a movie like this. I sure hope it doesn't get ruined later.
A few more of them die – this one guy, who seemed to be doing an Anthony Jeselnik impression, lies to his grad school interview about selling pills, so he then has to stab his eye out I guess.
And the great bitter rivalry between former best friends Olivia and Markie continues – oh the humanity! Markie gets dared to break Olivia's hand, I suppose. She does it when Olivia makes a crack about her dad, who committed suicide recently. This plotline, by the way, is just dropped randomly in our laps, like a piece of dried up dog shit.
Eventually they try and figure out what's going on. I can't imagine why; they've all been having such fun playing! They track down this girl who was dared to light a woman on fire earlier in the movie. I guess she was now dared to murder Olivia. I love the variety in the dares. Some people are dared to show their dick, while others are dared to murder people! Totally makes sense!
If you can believe it, the last 30 minutes actually try to get serious on you and start foisting a bunch of ludicrously over-dramatic plots. Like remember that plot about the gay kid coming out to his father? Well, it turns out the game dares that kid to steal his father's police gun and make him beg on his knees! And then the other cop comes and shoots the kid, thinking the dad is in trouble! Wow. With the current climate of police in this country, I'm glad this movie is bringing a sensible take on the issue.
Then we find out that Olivia actually had seen Markie's father right before he killed himself! And he tried to have sex with her and probably actually raped her! And she then told him he'd be better off if he died!
Movie, you know, it's not good to pretend you're something else than what you are. You're trying to shoehorn in these ultra-serious tragic plots, when really you're the kind of movie people watch when drunk off their asses at 2 a.m. while eating Cheetos. You're background noise. You're really not a serious film.
The climax is an over-long, ridiculous sequence involving a Mexican curse that “summoned” the game in the form of a demon. They find this out by going to visit a stereotypical old Mexican ex-nun now living secluded in the desert, a stereotype so cliche and redundant it almost feels new again. But instead it's just kinda racist hack-work. Then they learn they have to cut out that guy Carter's tongue from the beginning of the movie to stop the demon. This is so ridiculous that even the characters openly admit they have no clue how it's going to work.
I guess they try to, but the game, being a little bitch, cheats and makes them accidentally kill Carter instead. Then Olivia and Markie are forced to keep playing, so they broadcast a Youtube and make the entire world play, thus enacting Armageddon basically. I always knew the end times would come as a result of hot coeds and Youtube videos.
Truth or Dare is a garbage fire of a movie, and I DARE all of you to buy the DVDs and burn them in a mass grave. Am I doing it right?
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