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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 15, 2018

Truth Or Dare Movie Review: Not At All Scary Or Gripping And Gives Us Little Reason To Care For Its Characters

‘TRUTH OR DARE’ is from Blumhouse Productions that specializes in horror thrillers like “Paranormal Activity”, “Unfriended” and “Get Out”. It is not a horror flick about ghosts but is more akin to the “Final Destination” series where most of the characters invariably face an inevitable and gory death.

Olivia (Lucy Hale) joins her college friends for a spring break vacation in Mexico. On their last night, an annoying classmate harasses her in a bar and she is saved by a good looking stranger, Carter (Landon Liboiron). He then invites her and her friends at an abandoned mission house where he asks them to play the seemingly innocent game called Truth or Dare.

It was only later that they’d realize they’ve been trapped to playing a supernatural game with life-threatening consequences. The rules say: "Once you’re asked, you’re in. You must tell the truth, or you die. You must do the dare, or you die. If you stop playing the game, then you die.”

The friends of Olivia who are compelled to play the fatal game are Markie (Violet Beane) and her boyfriend Lucas (Tyler Posey), Penelope (Sophia Ali) and her boyfriend Tyson (Nolan Funk), and the Asian guy, Brad (Hayden Szeto), who is openly gay to his friends but keeps it a secret to his policeman dad.

The first victim is Ronnie, who dies when he fails to do a dare while playing billiards. Olivia then tries to convince her friends that the threat on their lives is real and to prove that she is serious, she dares Markie to smash her hand with a hammer to save Markie from the cursed game. Brad is then forced to tell the truth to his dad that he is gay.

Tyson, while applying in medical school, is then challenged to tell the truth that he forges prescriptions and when he lies, he kills himself. A drunken Penelope is then forced to drink vodka while walking around the edge of the roof their house. She falls from the roof but is saved by her friends.

Things get from bad to worse when they learn that they’re actually dealing with a demon who set the game's deadly rules. They try their best to counter the demon, but to no avail. Olivia then records a video for youtube, warning people not to play the game but even challenges the viewers to play it.

The film is not at all scary or gripping, and the sad fact is that it gives us little reason to care for all its characters as they die amusingly sadistic deaths. The plotting plods along and the director, Jeff Wadlow of “Kick Ass 2”, doesn’t even know how to make it campy to at least help maintain our interest in what’s going on.

But despite its hideousness and very negative reviews, we can more or less expect a sequel because the movie hit its target audience of horror lovers. It was made with a production budget of only $3.5 million but has so far made an earning of $70 million worldwide. That’s what we call “tubong lugaw” indeed.