The Movie Waffler New Release Review (DVD) - TRUTH OR DARE | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review (DVD) - TRUTH OR DARE

A group of famous YouTubers are forced by a fan to play a deadly game of Truth or Dare.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Jessica Cameron

Starring: Jessica Cameron, Ryan Kisner, Heather Dorff, Shelby Stehlin, Devanny Pinn

A group of YouTube famers who play an online game of Truth or Dare for their followers find their game taken hostage by their number one fan, Derik. A crazed lunatic, he is angry with the objects of his obsession for their lack of authenticity after they admit during an interview to faking the last Russian roulette episode they uploaded.

This ‘fan’ systematically dismantles their carefully designed personas, both individually and as a group, their ‘truths’ revealing the lies at the center of these ‘Daredevils’ connections, as the violence escalates and so does the death toll.

It’s all an interesting exercise in depravity and self-preservation. How far would you go to save yourself? And at what cost to your sense of self?

Directed, written and starring Jessica Cameron in her directorial debut (co-written with Jon Scott Higgins), Truth or Dare has screened nearly 50 times all over the world and won 33 small industry awards.

While there are issues with the plot, it does manage to be both current and relevant given today's climate of instant fame for basically filming yourself doing anything a little outrageous; where talent or admirable virtues seem to have fallen by the wayside in favour of instant gratification.

Many films have touched on this or tried to integrate it into their script with varying levels of success, but this film does manage to accommodate it effortlessly and that is to be commended.

The cast of unknowns are all very good here (the screams seemingly coming from a sense of genuine terror) with Ryan Kiser as Derik the fan and Heather Dorff as Michelle standouts; but there are no bad performances and that’s important in such an extreme movie. They manage to give weight to both the silly situation and the sense of these people as friends.

There is, however, a major flaw in the plotting in that they stop selecting ‘truth’. Now I ask you, after your worst secret is out (side note - perhaps the filmmakers could've built up to this also, which would've lessened the depravity hit) would you not have just kept asking for truth? The worst is out right? And after you've just seen a friend's dare amount to "cut your nipples off" I'm pretty sure sharing any secret would've looked like a walk in the park by comparison. That glaring plot hole aside, it is intriguing to watch Derik one-up himself with the dares. Some of these are truly sick – you have been warned people!

This movie also features some very questionable anatomical violence and a confusing death by bottle (don't ask - memorable for all the wrong reasons).

The secrets are ridiculously over the top (no 'I lied on my resume' stuff here) but it's to the cast's credit that they manage to buoy such plot twists and c-movie dialogue with a good dose of believability.

Unfortunately, in the end it did go too far and gave us a finale that was gross and then unbelievable. In its quest to give us a nihilistic ending it overstepped and shot itself in the foot, making the whole project just a meaningless wallow in excessive nastiness. What a shame to waste such good and promising actors.

Truth or Dare is available on DVD now.