Release Date(s)2018 (July 17, 2018)
Studio(s)Blumhouse Productions (Universal Pictures)
- Film/Program Grade: C
- Video Grade: A
- Audio Grade: A
- Extras Grade: B
Blumhouse Productions, known for their low budget, gory, horror shockers, including Insidious: The Last Key, The Purge, and the Paranormal Activity films, have taken another tour into the supernatural, spinning a thriller about a not so harmless game known as Truth or Dare.
When Olivia (Lucy Hale) and her best friend Markie (Violett Beane) travel to Mexico for spring break with Markie’s boyfriend Lucas (Tyler Posey) and fellow classmates Brad (Hayden Szeto) and Penelope (Sophia Taylor-Ali), they find themselves playing a game of Truth or Dare, which turns out to be a gateway into the supernatural. Learning from a stranger at a party named Carter (Landon Liboiron) that they have to tell the truth, do the dare, or die, they soon discover that the only way to stop the game is through a gruesome ritual, but not before things escalate and demonic forces begin to pick them off one by one.
Truth or Dare makes a good effort at taking a silly idea and turning it into something supernatural, but the characters are nothing more than your standard teenagers in a horror movie. The truth or dare aspect of the game does bring out some deeper characterization as secrets are revealed between the friends (ala Unfriended), but sometimes those truths are more harmful than the dares. They’re all put into dangerous situations and seeing how each one responds to each challenge is one of the better aspects of the movie as a whole. The unrated version also pushes the envelope with the gore as well, but the demon faces on the characters actually look kind of silly. Director Wadlow, however, does a great job in achieving a strong level of intensity throughout.
Truth or Dare comes to Blu-ray from Universal in both its unrated director’s cut and its PG-13 forms (for the record, I watched the unrated version for this review). The images throughout the film look sharp, with strong colors and accurate flesh tones. The scenery is well-detailed with enough depth that you can actually see blemishes on the characters’ skin. It’s quite an attractive presentation. The audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD. The soundtrack is quite potent as it amplifies all of the dialogue and sound effects in the film. It can be overpowering at times, but during scenes which were designed to make you jump with loud sound effects, it works like a charm. Other audio options include Spanish and French (Canada) 5.1 DTS with optional subtitles in English SDH, French, and Spanish.
There are a few bonus materials included as well. First up is an audio commentary with co-writer/director Jeff Wadlow and actress Lucy Hale in which they enthusiastically discuss the film, the cast of characters, and the death scenes. Game On: The Making of Truth or Dare is a short featurette about the film, the cast, and if they would choose truth or dare when playing the game themselves. Directing the Deaths is another short featurette that discusses how the death scenes are complimentary to the inner demons within each of the characters. Last, but not least, is a DVD copy of the film.
The truth about Truth or Dare is that it isn’t a terrible movie, but it isn’t anything special either. The presentation of the film is excellent though, giving those who are fans of the movie a real treat.
- David Steigman