Blumhouse Productions is a famous horror film production company, they mainly focus on producing cheap horror flicks that appeal to a younger audience. Although there is the occasional gem in their collection such as: ‘Get Out’ or ‘Split’. It’s definitely few and far between. ‘Truth or Dare’ is one of their most recent entries… and easily one of their worst to date.
This film has very little redeeming factors at all, with the story focusing entirely on a group of young friends as they play a harmless game of truth or dare. That is until the game turns deadly when someone (or something) begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse to do the dare they are given.
This bland concept has been seen a thousand times before, choosing to use the evil game storyline very similar to films such as: ‘Oujia’. The story plays out very similar to how you may expect, making it extremely predictable. The film is also one of Blumhouse’s least scary entries to date. Focusing entirely on jump-scares without any attempt to build tension or create an eerie atmosphere. The film also uses this ‘terrifying’ CGI effect on the character’s faces to replicate them being possessed, and due to the low-budget this effect looks laughably awful.
Unfortunately the characters are no better than the cliché narrative, as the entire cast of characters is as bland as they are unlikable. The stiff acting from the cast of models that are brought in, doesn’t benefit the film at all. Lucy Hale as ‘Olivia’ being the standout here, most likely this is why she was cast as the main protagonist.
One character in particular I despised was ‘Brad’ portrayed by Hayden Szeto. I dislike this character due to the way he is represented. As ‘Brad’ is a gay character, the issue here being that this is his entire character. ‘Brad’ gets barley any further development other than just being homosexual, this could not only be seen as pandering, but is also just awful writing. As being gay isn’t a character’s personality, I shouldn’t really have to even explain this, but many writers still seem to write characters this way for some reason.
When it comes to the filmmaking, sadly there’s no improvements here either, each shot from cinematographer Jacques Jouffret is boring and uninspired. The editing is quick and messy at points and the original score by Matthew Margeson is your usual bland horror soundtrack. The composer being the most surprising there, considering he has contributed to great scores such as: ‘Kingsman: ‘The Secret Service’ in the past.
Another issue I have with the film is the extreme lack of violence, due to the low age rating. The film constantly shines away from graphic violence, always cutting to another shot to avoid showing barely any blood or gore. This is a huge mistake for a horror film like this, as although sometimes implying violence can be more effective. In a film about a group of unlikable teenagers getting killed off, at least having some interesting deaths is a great way to satisfy the audience. One final note, the ending of the film is sure to leave a bad taste in your mouth if the film hadn’t already. As our protagonist makes a choice that not only goes against what development she had, but also what likeability she had as well.
Overall ‘Truth or Dare’ is one of the worst films of 2018 for me, this overdone plot with annoying characters has little charm or entertainment to offer. Bland execution along with coming off like a complete cash-grab for Blumhouse Productions, the film really goes down as one of the most boring horror flicks of the past few years. Definitely a 1/10, honestly believe you’d find paint drying a more enjoyable experience than this one.