Film Review: “Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare” (2018) ★★★


Each person probably has different expectations when it comes to horror films. Each also has their individual limit of how much of scary scenes they can handle. I must admit, the genre horror is not one of my favorites and never will be. I prefer nightmare-free sleep at nights. Who can blame me for that, right? This leads to what I have to tell you about my experience of watching “Truth or Dare” brought to us by Blumhouse Productions. Recently, I have seen such films as “Unfriended” and “Happy Death Day”. Now, I can place “Truth or Dare” into the league of franchises that can live a long life since they have wisely picked concept. But could one list is as a top film in the horror genre? I don’t think so. And I believe the creators never aimed for that title. Even without that, this film has a lot to offer.

The film follows Olivia who is invited to spend her last spring break in Mexico together with her best friend Markie. Although she hesitates at first, Olivia agrees to join the group of friends on this student holiday. However, things change in a strange way when Olivia meets Carter, a handsome young man who drags Olivia and her friends into a Truth or Dare game. As he puts it very simply, he had to trick them into the game as he prefers strangers to die for him to live.

The friends are full of hope and excitement as this is the last spring break before they graduate and go their separate ways. The rules of the game are simple. Until the moment, it takes a deadly turn. Each player has to choose between ‘Truth or Dare’ but they decide to skip, they will die. They do not know about this yet. At first, they think it’s a joke. They are more interested in Lucas’ and Markie’s relationship and why Olivia secretly cares about him. But that’s not the most important thing. There are other unpleasant truths we will learn throughout the film, which will cause unexpected plot twists.

The opening is not very scary. Although, you’ll see that this is a story-driven, atmospheric film and does not try to scare the viewer for no reason. For example, there is a scene where Olivia finds herself surrounded by the group of people at the library. Their demonic presence has taken over the game and now they demand ‘Truth or Dare’. That scene alone has an impressive impact on the plot and drives the story forward at a very fast pace.

If you pay close attention, you’ll realize that the film is centered around Markie – Olivia’s friend. There have been conflicts in the past, as well as the present, which influence their friendship. Now, each of them has to decide who’s side they choose, or rather – what they choose -‘Truth or dare’. Through their debates, we get to know both characters. Markie is like an open book who is straightforward and holds nothing back, while Olivia is the exact opposite. She hides a piece of very important information which will reshape and redefine their friendship. She decides to leave it as it is until the game forces her to do otherwise.

The young generation of actors delivers solid performance. They might not be too emotional but even that is enough to keep us on the edge of our seats. Certain scenes are nail-biting, chilling and unexpected. The viewer usually does not expect to see scenes such as the one between Sam and his policeman father. Yet, the idea that such scenes are included in the film is really eye-opening and we realize that “Truth and Dare” have no intention to show any sign of mercy.

In conclusion, “Truth and Dare” is a surprisingly entertaining piece that delivers the best it can to keep the viewer’s attention until its end. Some scenes might seem silly or not very believable. But then, how many people in a real life have had to deal with the consequences of a game like ‘Truth and Dare’? The answer is none. Or at least, it’s not known to us. Still, everything written and captured in this film is very important for the sake of the story and it unfolds in a structured manner. There are two things the viewer can take away from Jeff Wadlow’s film. Firstly, never lie and secondly, always be honest. If you follow this rule, everything should be fine. At lease, I hope so.

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