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“Truth or Dare” The Evil Lies Within

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia, Sr.

Captivating, creepy, and chilling the supernatural thriller Truth or Dare takes you on a never ending journey of death. Much like other horror filmmakers that have perfected the formula for surprise and contagious emotional terror, this film has it all bundled tightly and calculating to transfix the audience into believing. If you saw the films It Follows, The Ring and the Final Destination series, you’ll relive the sensations those films made way beyond leaving the theater.

California college pals and best friends Olivia (Lucy Hale), Markie (Violett Beane), Lucas (Tyler Posey), Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk), Penelope (Sophia Ali) and Brad (Hayden Szeto) head for Mexico on spring break. There they party down and are having a good time for two weeks.

Tyler Posey, Nolan Gerard Funk, Sam Lerner, Lucy Hale, Sophia Ali, Landon Liboiron, Hayden Szeto, and Violett Beane in Truth or Dare

On the last day Olivia runs into Ronnie (Sam Lerner), an old flame, at the bar of their hotel and the discussion between them starts to get heated. Carter (Landon Liboiron), who’s sitting at the bar, buds in on the conversation to save Olivia from Ronnie’s rude remarks. Carter then carries on a conversation with Olivia until the rest of the group joins them. It’s the last night of spring break and the collegians’ want it to continue until dawn. Carter tells them he knows of a special old church that he can take them that will make their stay in Mexico perfect.

Violett Beane as Markie in Truth or Dare

When the group gathers inside the church hall, Carter suggest they play “Truth or Dare”. So begins a night of weird happenings and an evil that will stay with the visitor’s way beyond their return to college. Director and co-screenwriter Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) does a fine job setting up the initial meetings and keeping the suspense and dread moving on throughout the film. He’s able to do what some of the pros have accomplished in the world of horror, keep his audience on the edge of their seats waiting for the next death to take place.

Wadlow almost makes the perfect film, but in my humble estimation, it’s not and for that you’ll have to see the movie to understand this statement. That said, although I found it a major deal, you may think I’m too picky. In fact it may take the opposite effect and scare you so much that you’ll never play the game “Truth or Dare” the rest of your life. Just saying.

Tyler Posey, Nolan Gerard Funk, Sophia Ali, Hayden Szeto, and Violett Beane in Truth or Dare

The acting by the whole cast is terrific with Lucy Hale knocking her character out of the park. As the whimsical collage coed Olivia, she’s bright and energetic, but when her backs to the wall it’s a different story. Controlling her character she’s seamless in every scene revealing every side of Oliva. She develops Olivia’s fears and then the resistance to the evil that has been set upon her. You may know of Hale’s fine acting as Aria Montgomery in the 160 episodes of Pretty Little Liars.

In acting support as Oliva’s BFF, Violett Beane takes on the flighty Markie and owns the role. She does a very good job of showing Markie’s erratic behavior, especially when Olivia gets singled out as being attracted to her boyfriend Lucas (played by Tyler Posey). The jealously starts to emerge revealing her dark side.

Truth or Dare has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence and disturbing content, alcohol abuse, some sexuality, language and thematic material. The film is really borderline R rated due to several scenes of violence and morbidity. Immature teens should be cautioned when wanting to see the film.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A very good chiller with a sadistic antagonist. (3.5 out of 5 stars) 

Additional Film Information
Cast:  Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Nolan Gerard Funk, Hayden Szeto, Sophia Taylor Ali
Directed and co-written by: Jeff Wadlow
Genre: Horror, Thriller
MPAA Rating:  PG-13 for violence and disturbing content, alcohol abuse, some sexuality, language and thematic material
Running Time: 1 hr. 40 min.
Release Date: April 13, 2018
Distributed by: Blumhouse

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