Release Date: April 13th, 2018
Cast: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Hayden Szeto, and Landon Liboiron
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Distributor: Universal Pictures
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The set-up: some college seniors go on Spring Break to Mexico where they engage in a game of Truth or Dare in a spooky old Spanish Mission. The game begins to take control of their lives with the truths and dares become much more… uh… ah hell man I just can’t even make it sound cool.
The players tell the spooky face people (later revealed to be a demon named ‘Callix’ …yikes) the truth and it usually happens at very inopportune times or they have to accept a dare. If they refuse… THEY DIE! OOoOoOoOoOoOoO.
The scares… aren’t. The weird face effects to suggest demonic possession look like a terrible silly Snapchat filter that asks for laughter and ridicule, not concern. When the characters of the movie then refer to just that fact, it is crazy to have the movie continue attempting to use the face effect for creep factor. The theater instead laughs at the ridiculousness of it.
The idea of ‘the game is real,’ a well-trod plot for horror moves, makes no sense when it comes to the concept of Truth or Dare. The game has no weird urban legend spook behind it so why the movie pushes this angle for an hour before taking its “demon!” swerve is beyond me. It turns out ‘the game’ is possessed by a demon some nuns summoned to get their vengeance on an evil priest.
The writing is clunky, the plotting nonsensical, and the entire conceit laughable. Movies (horror especially) can get by with having just style or just substance but to lack both is unforgivable.
It’s strange. Blumhouse produces trash like this, but then occasionally they help put out a Whiplash or a Get Out. They certainly know how to make absolutely terrible horror movies turn a profit. They know the formula. It’s just too bad that people have to actually watch and endure them.