TRUTH OR DARE (2012) Review

Directed by: Robert Heath
Starring: Jennie Jacques, David Oakes, Jack Gordon

I wasn't expecting much from TRUTH OR DARE (aka TRUTH OR DIE) to be honest, it started out like countless other teen revenge slashers and so I expected a fairly predictable and generic film. But thankfully by sticking with the movie right to the end I was treated to something which was actually quite original and overall very well crafted.

As I said TRUTH OR DARE starts out like so many other movies at a party where the creepy loser is humiliated by the popular kids. In this case the creepy loser is Felix and he is humiliated while playing a game of Truth or Dare. When asked which girl he has a crush on he points out the cute girl Gemma and her boyfriend gets all macho and beats Felix up.
Months later five of the kids who were present at the party are invited to a birthday party at Felix's house. Gemma, Chris, Luke, Paul and Eleanor arrive to find out from Felix's older brother Justin that his flight was cancelled and he wouldn't be attending, but they are all welcome to stay the night anyway. They start drinking and eventually get into a game of Truth or Dare in which Justin tells them that he lied about Felix. Felix didn't get stuck overseas due to a cancelled flight, he hung himself. After this revelation Justin tells everybody that he connected them to Felix's suicide and in fact invited them all so that he could find out who is responsible for the death of his brother, by any means necessary.

One of the things that came as a pleasant surprise to me was the level of acting here. David Oakes’ portrayal of the psychotic Justin was great, as was Jennie Jacques as Eleanor. They were definitely the standouts for me but the rest of the cast also did a great job.

There is a point at which it seems that TRUTH OR DARE is going to descend into the dark depths of what a lot of people would call ‘torture porn’ (I’ve always hated that term) but thankfully it doesn’t quite go that far. There is torture involved but it is mostly psychological as Justin continues using the Truth or Dare concept to try and make the friends turn on each other. That’s not to say that there isn’t also some physical torture thrown in for good measure, and the ‘acid test’ is a sadistically original idea that’s a lot more sophisticated than just pulling fingernails or busting kneecaps.

Unfortunately since all of the characters are equally annoying (they all seem to be either assholes or whining bitches) it didn’t really bother me which of them lived or died, in fact if they had all died I couldn’t have cared less. It would have been nice if there were somebody I could have found myself rooting for but in the end none of the characters were likeable enough.

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