The 261st review overall!
Good news all, I survived Arn’s bachelor party! I was feeling pretty rough last night so I took a nap, then those butt holes left to get dinner without waking me! Unbelievable. But I’m back home in Earth’s Greatest City and am feeling pretty good. So now is as good a time as any to talk about...
Truth or Dare (2018) HBO Go.
Funny story, purely a coincidence, but my review from this day last year was a movie also called Truth or Dare. I watched it because I thought it was this one and I was confused when people’s faces wouldn’t turn into the snapchat filter. But I powered through and it wasn’t bad, ending with 6 Dr. Chainsaws.
As for this one, a group of friends take a spring break trip to Mexico. While there, the protagonist meets a man hanging out at the bar who stands up for against her an annoying friend that wants to bang. As some rounds and a lot of talking, he convinces the group to go with him to an old abandoned mission. Once there he then convinces them to play a rousing game of Truth or Dare. When it gets to his turn he reveals to them he brought them there because he would much rather see strangers die then he himself and was tasked with finding more people for the game. With that, he apologizes and peaces out. Naturally that puts a damper on the crew’s morale and they all head back to their respective hotels and eventually go back home. The game then follows them back, forcing them to keep playing or die.
That’s the gist. Unlike the movie I watched last year, there’s no way to outsmart the game. If there’s any tomfoolery at all, the game possesses you, you make the Snapchat filter face and then kill yourself. Personally, I prefer the other approach, I enjoy when they have a fighting chance and it’s not just a hamster on a wheel until it’s your turn to go. That’s pretty much what this movie is, they’re trapped and for a lot of it, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. The movie last year, you just had to survive three rounds and you were free, in this one there’s a convoluted way to end it, but you find out about it way late in the game after most of the group has already bit the dust.
I don’t know if its to the movies credit or not, but I really didn’t and still don’t know how I feel about it. It had some heavy themes, and the game exploited your deepest secrets. It would sneak up and ask you at the most inopportune times to do the most damage, be they secrets or dares. One of the characters is in the closet and he never told his cop father about it saying he’s a homophobe. The character then gets a truth question forcing him to come out to his dad. It’s genuinely touching the father’s reaction made all the more tragic by what he gets dared to do later in the movie. Out of them all, he’s the lone sympathetic character and really the only one I cared about living or dying. The rest of them are paint by the numbers and not much else. It got to the point when the best friend stormed off for the eighth time that I either wanted her to leave the movie or it to just end.
The ending... It has a “Chekhov’s Gun” moment that I kind of liked because it showed she was full of shit. Her first truth she gets asked a question and she gives the altruistic humanity answer, but when faced with the situation she buckles and her more selfish decision, as set up by the movie, has the potential to bring untold death and destruction. Personally, I don’t buy her having the type of social media reach to do what this movie suggested, but thinking too much about it ruins the effect. I don’t know if it’s better than my initial reaction of rolling my eyes though. I also don’t want to get into the explanation and mythology because really it’s not worth it.
Honestly, I think I liked the low budget one I watched last year more. Not only did it have Heather Langenkamp, it was more focused and it had an end game to it. This looks much better and is better acted, but outside of one person, I didn’t care about any of these people. At least the low budget one had a person with a cool hat.
Plus, what college-aged kid still plays truth or dare anymore?
5 Dr. Chainsaws!
Learn More: Truth or Dare