After a bout of hesitation, Olivia (Lucy Hale) is convinced by bestie Markie (Violett Beane) to go on a spring break trip with a group of their guy and girlfriends. While in Mexico, they play a seemingly harmless game of truth or dare, but when they go home, the game follows them. If they refuse to play, they die. If they don’t tell the truth, they die. If they don’t do the dare, they die.
Truth or Dare is the latest from Blumhouse Productions, which is proving to be a powerhouse in the horror genre. Their hit franchises include Insidious, The Purge, Paranormal Activity, and Sinister, and they were also behind surprise hit Split and mega hit Get Out.
Like their last film, Happy Death Day, Truth or Dare takes a college campus as its setting and continues Blumhouse’s practise of casting young, adept up-and-coming talent (in this case, the cast includes Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale, Teen Wolf’s Tyler Posey, Violet Beane (The Flash), and new Grey’s Anatomy addition Sophia Ali). The studio's rep also centres around using smart ideas to create compelling horrors. Their movies are smart, self-aware and playful and while Truth or Dare adheres to such characteristics, it feels lacking.
What distinguishes Truth or Dare from Blumhouse’s last effort, or really from a number of the studio’s previous films, is that it’s not particularly scary nor is it particularly funny. While watchable, it lacks the riveting quality of its predecessors. The movie also follows this ‘There are no rules’ type of narrative which stretches logic and doesn’t always make sense, which will likely bother some though not everyone. The ending will likely feel somewhat anti-climactic, as well as being a bit confusing, for all.
The key demographic here seems to be young people with its turning the whole movie/TV trope of college goers spending their time drinking, partying and having sex, on its head, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. That plus its lack of jump frights makes Truth or Dare end up something like a teeny bopper edition of a horror. Hardcore fans of the genre will likely feel disappointed.