Jeff Wadlow

Truth or Dare (2018) *SPOILER* Review!

Blumhouses’s Truth or Dare or just simply Truth or Dare is a 2018 American supernatural horror film directed by Jeff Wadlow and written by Wadlow, Michael Reisz, Jillian Jacobs and Chris Roach. It follows a group of college students who play a game of Truth or Dare? While on vacation in Mexico, only to realise it has deadly consequences if they don’t follow through on their tasks.

Someone please explain to me, why a film would bother to establish that it has a mythology if it’s just going to ignore it and do whatever the hell it wants anyway? My greatest pet peeve in cinema is films that establish their mythology and then contradict it. Why even bother? It destroys any semblance of cohesiveness and logic. I don’t think some writers care anymore and clearly neither do studios because it seems they will put anything into production these days. If your dream is to be a writer in Hollywood, now is the time to submit your scripts because they’re saying yes to everything.

This movie has some conflicting shooting styles, a rather bland score and a never-ending supply of horror tropes. The girl who likes her best friend’s guy, a cheater, a douchebag, series of events that could easily have been avoided, pointlessly placed sex scene, and a bad guy who pretends to be a good guy, so he can screw everyone else over. The whole gang is here! I’m sure there were others, but they weren’t coming to my mind. The only thing that wasn’t a trope was having a gay Asian character, now that is rare and while I commend the film for inserting this character in organically I am annoyed that they also undercut him. Throughout the movie we watch everyone act out their truths and dares, except this guy and his first task. He was tasked with coming out to his father and they completely kept it off screen and I don’t understand why. Was this because it was the only Truth that had a happy result or is it because they think depicting a gay Asian male coming out to his parent is pushing it? This was a stupid choice that made no sense, if you’re going to make people do tasks, show it.

I think the acting was rather sad for the most part. People are dying left, right and centre and people keep acting not remotely phased. Our main lead believes this lethal game of Truth of Dare incredibly fast. Despite whatever is going on, any person would still take a while to believe it, but she was not hard to convince, in that I felt the script writing was rushed. We even have another character who is drunk to the point of throwing up and is then dared to drink an entire bottle of vodka while performing a dangerous act. This level of alcohol consumption would lead to severe alcohol poisoning and without immediate medical attention would either lead to suffocating on one’s vomit, ending up in a coma or suffering from brain death. However, none of these things happen, within what I would guess is a 30-minute time frame she goes from what should be the brink of death by alcohol, to sober as a toddler.

But most importantly was the number of times the mythology caves in on itself. The rule is if you’re asked; “Truth or Dare?” you have to answer and complete the task, or you die. Yet in the beginning Olivia is asked “Truth or Dare?” 3 separate times and ignores it and nothing bad happens to her. Even Lucas is given 2 opportunities to respond. Also, during the final scene Lucas is dared to either kill Olivia or Markie and chooses neither. Instead of the demon in questioning immediately making him take his own life for not following the rules he makes him attack Markie, which is against the mythology. When that proves unsuccessful the women hold him down to prevent him from being able to kill himself, but once he breaks free he kills Sam instead, then himself, which was never part of the task and does not fit the rules at all. If the demon was able to just go around killing people on his own why would he not have been doing that the whole time? Frankly this demon is incredibly stupid. Given there is one person who could lock the genie back in the bottle I don’t understand why it wouldn’t have just dared the first contestant to kill Sam and get him out of the way. It would have been smart, but this demon is a moron.

Another mythology contradiction; Sam forced this game on these unsuspecting people as part of his dare believing that it would leave him and his last remaining friend alone and focus on them instead, but it doesn’t, it just means more victims. However, at the end Olivia posts a video on Youtube inviting everyone to play Truth or Dare? Because she was told the game will never end and that the only way to survive is to make others play (this is sounding very much like the events in The Ring). This is exactly what Sam was told, and she knew this, and she also knew it wasn’t true. So why she went along with it and inflicted this hell upon millions of unsuspecting people makes zero sense. They’re still going to die anyway. While they appear to drive off into the sunrise, technically speaking those two will probably be dead in a matter of hours or days. As someone very experienced when it comes to Youtuber comments, I would just like to say Olivia is in for a shit tone of nasty hate in her comments section. Youtube trolls are bad even on the best of days, but I think unleashing an evil demon on them is probably going to make them worse. Just food for thought.

If I’m going to pick on the finer things (cause why the hell not?), then I would have to say I also had issue with everyone ganging up on Olivia for outing her friend as a compulsive cheater. Time and place were not ideal, but she was not the one in the wrong. Her friend screwing around with random guys and making everyone cover for her and in turn hurting their mate, that makes her in the wrong. Lucas confesses he has feelings for Olivia, but then while in the middle of sex is forced to say he is not in love with her but in love with Markie, these series of events contributed nothing. This was the dumbest, more pointless and briefest love triangle in the history of love triangles. And I hate love triangles. Markie spends her time acting like the one hard done by, yet she was the cheater, and Lucas is the idiot who is happy to take her back. These characters are stupid and have crap taste in friends and partners.

I usually try, no matter how futile it may be, to come out with a positive for a movie. While this movie is undoubtedly a hot mess, I do happen to have a positive. I commend the movie for emulating a supernatural representation of what I hate most about the game. I hate Truth or Dare, I’ve always hated it. Truth or Dare at parties was mostly used as a way for guys to make girls act out the guys lesbian fantasies or force them to do sexual acts they didn’t want to do. The sad part is people treated the game like it was law and they had no choice. Peer pressure gave them no choice. If you said “no” you were a prude and frigid and were going to be ridiculed for refusing to act out your truth or dare. But if you say yes, everyone will be going around calling you a slut. It was a lose/lose scenario. This movie whether it tried to or not, really does represent the choices people think they are not allowed to make when participating in the game and for that I commend it.

Having said all the, the movie is still woeful and undeniably boring. Not even a jump scare to be found, not a single one. There is nothing to enjoy, I don’t know how it got the green light, it isn’t even the first movie to be called Truth or Dare and turn it into a deadly game. I’m sorry I watched it and I’m sorry for everyone else who watched it and I’m sorry for all the actors who ended up being in it. If we’re being honest, the real-life game is far scarier than watching people with a Joker smile and autotune voices, though I’m impressed demons know what autotune is. For all the reasons above I give Truth or Dare a rating of Kill It With Fire.