Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Movie Review: Truth or Dare

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Interesting and entertaining horror movie
Cons: I get the ending, but I didn’t like it
The Bottom Line:
Deadly teenage game
How long can they keep playing?
I did not like end

“How About We Play a Game?”

I was intrigued the first time I heard about Truth or Dare when it came out in 2018.  It helped that I was a fan of the female leads.  I’d heard mixed reviews of the movie, but when I found it on TV, I decided to give it a try.

The story follows Olivia (Lucy Hale) who is coerced by her best friend Markie (Violett Beane) into joining their group of friends on a Spring Break trip to Mexico.  On their last night, Olivia starts talking to a guy at the bar.  When they aren’t ready to go back to their rooms, he suggests a place where they can go hang out.  Then he suggests a game of truth or dare.

It’s when they have returned to their college in Southern California that they realize it wasn’t an ordinary game.  The game has followed them home, and they are now playing a life-or-death version.  If they refuse to play, they die.  If they lie, they die.  If they don’t complete the dare, they die.  Can they stop it before they are all dead?

I knew the basic premise going in, but I wasn’t sure how it was going to be executed.  I was actually impressed with how they did it, with the game taking place mostly back on the college campus.  It allows for some very interesting and suspenseful sequences.  Yes, the film was rated PG-13, so keep that in mind as far as violence you go to watch it.  Having said that, the sexual content was higher than I was expecting, and I watched it on TV.  I can see why they didn’t get an R rating, but it had to be very close.

Honestly, as the story really got going, I couldn’t help compare the film to Final Destination.  I only saw the first in the series, but it had the same feeling with a malevolent force stalking a group of characters in a certain order, and you never quite knew when it was going to strike next.

Unfortunately, I felt the ending was weak.  Or at least weak for what I wanted in the film.  I get what they were doing with the ending.  And, I know, it’s horror, so the ending works.  But it isn’t my kind of ending.

While I’m familiar with Lucy Hale and was glad to see her in something again, I’m actually more familiar with Violett Beane.  I enjoyed seeing her here.  I didn’t recognize anyone else in the cast, but they did a great job.

I’m glad I watched Truth or Dare, and I mostly enjoyed it.  I just wish I liked the ending better.  If the premise interests you and you are willing to watch a horror movie, give it a try.

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