Horror super producer Jason Blum delivers a Friday the thirteenth dud. Truth or Dare is painfully slow and tedious with an absurd plot. It has no palpable scares whatsoever. I honestly can't remember the last time I was this bored in a movie. Let's be clear. No one is walking into Truth or Dare expecting a masterpiece. Even with spectacularly low expectations, the film disappoints on every level.
Lucy Hale stars as Olivia, a college coed who's forced to go on a Mexican spring break with her roommates. After a social media montage of revelry, Olivia meets an intriguing stranger (Landon Liboiron). He tantalizes a creepy excursion to a derelict monastery. Olivia and her pals follow along like sheep. There they engage in a game of truth or dare that quickly becomes a nasty exercise in dirty laundry. Back home in Southern California, Olivia starts seeing a demon-like jester overtake her friends. She quickly realizes that the truth or dare game has not ended. And that breaking the rules leads to a fatal outcome.
Truth or Dare moves at a snail's pace. It's a horror movie that takes seemingly forever to get the "horror" going. Even more annoying is the build-up to the next turn. Once the ensemble cast figures out what's happening, they deduce the order they have to play the game. The moments in between drag with useless dialogue and subplots. It's pure filler that substantially detracts from the film's ambience. Truth or Dare has a runtime of one hundred and forty minutes. You feel ever second of it.
Half the fun of watching a cheesy horror film is the creativity behind the carnage. Truth or Dare is a total letdown in this regard. The PG-13 rating means no blood, no nudity, and no fun. The characters deaths aren't remotely interesting. You would think after making dozens of successful genre films, Blum and his production team would realize the banality of their characters fates. The original story by Michael Reisz is enamored with the truth or dare concept. The bloody recourse is missing. I've railed against films previously for gratuitous violence and torture porn. Truth or Dare needed an inkling of either to be at least minimally entertaining.
Truth or Dare is directed and co-written by Jeff Wadlow (Kick Ass 2). His shot choices become repetitive. Almost every outside scene begins with an overhead shot that swoops down toward the characters. Specific camera movements in a film should never become predictable. Wadlow is near robotic in his visual approach. These horror films are cranked out quickly with miniscule budgets. Truth or Dare could easily have been a B-movie on Netflix or Chiller. The film does not have a cinematic feel.
The ending of Truth or Dare is a total cop out. The premise is not resolved in a rewarding way. The finale is a platform for sequels. It left me disappointed and furious to have sat through the film. Jason Blum had been on a roll the last two years. Split, Get Out, the Insidious franchise, there was quality filmmaking in these releases. Truth or Dare is a substandard entry. It is purely driven by profit motive.
From Blumhouse Productions and Universal Pictures, Truth or Dare is an utter waste of time. What could have been an intriguing plot is fumbled into PG-13 garbage. Every film can't be great, but this is woeful. Jason Blum has established his brand as the best in the horror genre. He needed to deliver a better film.