Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Chills & Thrills: Truth or Dare (2017)

Movie Name/Year: Truth or Dare (2017)
Tagline: None
Genre: Horror
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Production Companies: Cinetel Films, Angel Cake Truth
Producer: Lisa M. Hansen, Paul Hertzberg, Lisa Riley, Brian Tidmore, German Michael Torres
Director: Nick Simon
Writer: Thommy Hutson, Ethan Lawrence
Actors: Cassandra Scerbo, Brytni Sarpy, Mason Dye, Alexxis Lemire, Ricardo Hoyos, Luke Baines, Harvey Guillen, Christina Masterson, Heather Langenkamp, Taylor Lyons, Jonathan Mercedes

Blurb from Netflix: A game of “Truth or Dare” among college friends on spring break turns deadly when a demon seems determined to use it to kill them all.

Selina’s Point of View:
Before I go into how I felt about this film, let’s just understand what it was.

Truth or Dare, as its name suggests, is a movie that follows the dare-to-die trope. You see this in a lot of films; either through use of the traditional game of truth or dare, or some bastardization of it. Sometimes it’s a game show where people have to do crazier and deadlier things. Other times it’s some kind of supernatural force doling out the hurt.

In the dare-to-die trope genre, there are expectations. There will almost always be a dare that includes two women kissing. Usually the other dares will start off mostly tame and will escalate quickly. The first death will shock the others into believing what’s happening and the game will get more tense from there. People will die.

As films go, this one wasn’t the most original. It followed the trope almost to the letter. So, I don’t feel comfortable judging it as a stand-alone movie. Instead, I’m going to look at it as a representative of its trope genre.

For a basic-bitch dare-to-die film, it wasn’t bad.

It had some serious flaws. I’m not going to deny that. 

There were a ton of plot holes. For instance, the failure/completion (that’s how I’ll avoid spoilers) of the second-to-last dare, if thought about for more than a few seconds, makes no sense. There were some twists to the story that were shoe-horned in and no where near necessary. There were also a few basic script issues.

That said, there were some seriously unexpected moments.

The end twist didn’t belong in this film. It was lazy writing. Pure and simple. However, there were other twists that DID belong. They weren’t treated like twists, though. They happened naturally, which was what made them so effective. If the writers had just trusted their story without adding that final eye-rolling epiphany, it would have been a better film.

In the end, I didn’t hate it. It isn’t a film I’m going to remember in a month, but I also don’t feel like I completely wasted my time.

Cat’s Point of View:
The classic Truth or Dare party game has been a popular one for horror films in the last few years. The general theme seems to be the same – the game escalates beyond willing participation into do or die territory.

Unfortunately, following that recipe makes the whole movie rather predictable.

At least this version didn’t have the creepy smile that’s in the trailers for the 2018 offering by the same name. I haven’t seen that one, so I’m reserving judgement there – but that smile. Eek.

Moving on.

I have to say, for a SYFY Channel made-for-TV-movie, this one was a bit more graphic in the horror department than I recall for their in-house movies. Then again, there are a few hairy scenes that cut away or are missing a good bit of the blood you would expect.

Basically, this film is a bit of torture-porn-lite with a slight twist. 

I’m thankful that they didn’t go the found-footage shaky-cam route, at least. There was plenty of opportunity here. I’m not exactly sure where my disconnect was with this movie, but I just couldn’t find my way to investing in the characters or their plights.

I don’t think it was bad, though. It just hit a real ‘meh’ note with me.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: Spanish, English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 38%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.2/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2.5/5

Movie Trailer: 

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