By Neetisha Dey (Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)

 

Blumhouse productions’ horror flick Truth or Dare, feels fitted into a prevailing pattern. It all starts when some ingenuous college kids go to Mexico for spring break, and some unknown guy lures them into a game of truth or dare, which almost every college student love. The game is cursed and they unknowingly bring back home an awful profanity. Dares are fatal, truths are grim and it’s always fun until someone pops one’s clogs. However, the argument is whether the demonic version of our favorite college game succeeded in doing what it intended to do. Overall the movie seems like an ill-fated matrimonial between horror and comedy. For just a game that got demonized, it feels a little stretched, as the thrill wears off towards the end. The climax of the film feels kind of warmish and the intertwining plots that are incorporated in between feels a bit enforced.

As the game starts, the devil awakens and compels the friends to share their darkest secrets and deepest fears. Even after the vacation ends, this game follows the friends home, and this is when all hell breaks loose. The rules are simple – tell the truth or die, dare to do or die, and if you stop playing, you simply die. And though most of the characters exist only to be killed, they are generic and disposable even by the standards of cut-rate horror movies. Good girl Olivia (Lucy Hale) wants to spend spring break working for Habitat for Humanity, but her hard-partying roommate and friend Markie (Violett Beane) lures her south of the border, with a bunch of other undergrads.

Although it’s not difficult to spot fundamental storytelling mistakes, what works for the film are individual scenes of real-world reliability. Each and every character has a well-sketched-out personality and he or she seems perfect for the parts that he or she are playing. They are fighting personal battles and are hence portraying characters that are interlaced with hidden layers. This element comes out very well throughout the story. The set design in the movie screams eerie and this is probably much-needed.

What also comes out very well is how the revelations unfold, minute after minute. This undoubtedly adds to the storyline and uplifts the performances.

The ending of the film was abrupt and left audiences wondering. Although the movie might not have been too bad due to the ending, audiences felt cheated and concluded that the film was too bad. The plot and treatment of the film are of utmost importance but the beginning is what grabs our attention and we want to stick to our seats and find out the ending, the ending of the film is what lingers with us. It’s not terrible or awful, but it’s not even close to what we thought. Poorly explained screenplay, with points that lead us to understand where the film takes us. The conclusion brings a little credibility to the whole story, taking away all the excitement of the public. If you’re into cultural studies, and more particularly tricksters – like Loki or the Bohpoli – this movie is a thoughtful and entertaining story of what they might do in a modern society.

Rating: 3/5

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