New take on overused horror plotline

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TRUTH OR DARE: Lucy Hale stars as Olivia Barron who is forced to play a deadly game in Truth or Dare.

Truth or Dare

  • Horror Cert R13, contains violence, horror, offensive language and content that may disturb, 1hr 40mins
  • Starring: Tyler Posey, Lucy Hale, Aurora Perrineau, Nolan Gerard Funk and Violett Beane
  • Director: Jeff Wadlow

URBAN legends and horror movies go hand in hand, and with the release of Truth or Dare, the adolescent game becomes a vehicle of death.

With a basic plot inspired by The Ring (2002) and Final Destination (2000), this morality play digs deep into a dilemma often shrugged off by many horror film makers – the ethicality of bringing other people into a curse.

Olivia’s sophomoric friends take things into their own hands. Instead of doing a stint with Homes for Humanity over Spring Break, they cancelled her plans and bought her a ticket to Cancun with them.

While in Mexico, Olivia and her friends are enticed by a Spring Break hanger-on into playing a game of Truth or Dare after breaking into an Aztec temple.

Once each player has taken a turn, the hanger-on reveals they are now part of a curse and they will have to play the game for eternity as he runs off. Refusing to play or lying will result in death, they are told.

Fast forward a couple of days and the group are back at university preparing for final exams. They begin receiving anonymous texts and messages insisting they play one more game. Some don’t take the warnings seriously and begin dying in a gruesome manner. It also becomes clear the game cheats when the players are only tasked with dares.

Those who see the danger of the game try to keep the team together with knowledge there is strength in numbers. But as they die-off one-by-one, it becomes clear that the game demands more players.

This is where the remaining players must search their consciences to decide whether they are scrupulous enough to risk their own lives rather than bringing in others to grow the pool, perhaps allowing them to escape the worst.

Our main character Olivia has already proven she cares for her fellow humans and is least likely to endanger others. But are her friends as honourable as she is?

Despite the hackneyed plotline, the character development is compelling enough to hold the audience’s attention. The main performances are strong and the story weaves nicely around story development and the characters’ arcs.

7/10

mark.rieder@whakatanebeacon.co.nz