Truth Or Dare
Director: Robert Heath
Writer: Matthew McGuchan
Stars: Liam Boyle, Jack Gordon and Florence Hall
Reviewer: Jamie Jenkins
Most of us are familiar with the story of the five friends who travel to a remote location for a party. It never ends well for most of those involved.There are bits and pieces of plot that you can count on to be included: a killer with a motive (usually involving a twisted back story), mobile phones are removed from the equation, and most of the group will die in nasty ways. These elements, and more like them, are commonly found throughout the horror genre. It’s neither the presence nor the absence of these factors that determines the originality or success of a movie; it is the manner in which they are portrayed.
The revenge premise in storytelling may be as old as humankind but Truth or Dare manages to find an original way to convey it amidst the sea of Saw ripoffs (including most of its own sequels) and other movies vying desperately to top one another for being the biggest gross out. I don’t have issues with gross. Gross is fun. But sometimes I’d like to see substance, atmosphere, and solid acting. Call me crazy; it’s a thing I have.
From the moment it begins to play, Truth or Dare makes it clear that you are going to enjoy this ride, visually, at least. Simply put, the movie is gorgeous. Not only is the production value of high quality but Robert Heath’s direction is superb. Those of you out there who are looking for an excess of gore won’t find it, but you will find a competent use of effects and blood. The tortures and kills manage to hold on to their brutality without shoving it down our throats. There is a deft use of light and shadows that can turn a mansion from majestic to macabre in the course of the evening. There are shots of Gemma wandering the dark hallways that are somewhat spooky. And we as horror fans know just how frightening shadows can be, don’t we?
Please don’t let me shortchange the actors, though. I have not one performance complaint about a single cast member. I was interested, I was invested and I gave a damn. That doesn’t happen quite as often as I’d like. But every player from Jennie Jacques as the coquettish and scandalous Eleanor, to David Oakes as Justin, the military man hell-bent on revenge for his brother’s death, brought their talent and I was impressed.
Now I’ve gone on about how it looks and the performances but I cannot leave you with the idea that the film is perfect. The narrative, while interesting and original, forces you to stretch your acceptance just a little here and there. But, it does manage to provide a few surprises with some truly brutal moments. The complete lack of nudity is a bit sad, especially after the tease in the beginning, but I’m not a thirteen year old boy so I managed to get over it. Take a gander at Truth or Dare. It’s well done and fun to watch. I don’t see it having high rewatchability, but it deserves at least an hour, thirty…probably at least twice.
TRUTH OR DARE Available ON BLU-RAY, DVD & iTUNES
COURTESY OF CINE-BRITANNIA
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