Hot Take: As expected… Which isn’t necessarily a good thing when it comes to these Blumhouse horror flicks.
The goal of every Blumhouse horror movie seems to be to make a movie with at least one good scare and to do it as cheaply as possible. With a $3.5 million budget, half of that mission was accomplished with the latest from Blumhouse Productions and the first branded with the studio’s name: Blumhouse’s Truth Or Dare. The second half of that mission? I can’t remember one scary moment that stuck with me following the 100 minute generic teen horror flick which felt like a mash-up of familiar horror tropes layered over a deadly game of truth or dare. Lie, you die. Fail to complete the dare, you die. Refuse to play, you die. Those were the rules. Thankfully, one of those rules wasn’t lose interest in this wonky concept, you die because, well, a lot of audience members would have met their demise. Don’t worry, though. These Blumhouse films are fail proof and will likely pull in 15-20 times it’s budget at the box office even with a Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 20%.
If you need a quick synopsis to understand how lame this movie is, a group of teens head to Mexico for Spring Break. Olivia (Lucy Hale) meets a stranger (Landon Liboiron) at the bar on their last night who invites her and her friends to an abandoned church. The group — Markie (Violett Beane), Lucas (Tyler Posey), Brad (Hayden Szeto), Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk), Penelope (Sophia Ali) and Ronnie (Sam Lerner) — enter into a game of truth or dare with each taking a turn that involves a silly dare or a truth that leads to a rather hurtful comment to their friends. When the stranger gets his turn, he informs the group that he was forced to bring them into this supernatural game of truth or dare and they now must play and continue the game as it happens. The group heads back home thinking very little of the game until they start getting challenged to the game by strangers whose face change when they initiate the game. (They get a big, inhuman smile on their face which is an effect at least a third of the budget was spent on.) The first to get challenged is Ronnie who is challenged to get naked on a pool table at a local college bar. When he is shamed by the audience, he refuses the dare and instantly takes a header off the pool table and breaks his neck. It is, of course, captured on social media and the rest of the group sees what happens. Game on! (UGH!)
As the group muddles through this rather repetitive game of truth or dare, there are very few moments that spark any sort of interest to the film as it unfolds. Most of the characters lack the charisma to make it a worthwhile endeavor to see this game through and harken back to the ’80s horror flicks where the slasher was the star. However, in this one, the game is the slasher and, unfortunately, there’s nothing much happening here. It gets especially pointless when it is revealed that the unwilling participants can’t even choose between truth or dare if the game gets tired of the participants choosing truth.
Hats off to Blumhouse’s Truth Or Dare for continuing the blueprint of Blumhouse Productions’ fiscally friendly horror films which continue to rake at the box office. While Blumhouse’s Truth Or Dare won’t likely approach the worldwide box office success of last year’s Split ($138 million) or Get Out ($176 million), it might get to the box office numbers brought in by last year’s Happy Death Day ($55.7 million) or this year’s Insidious: The Last Key ($67.3 million). So, expect more of these films from Blumhouse and with the occasional gem hidden within the generic throwaways, expect audiences to continue to find their way to the theater to watch these forgetful horror flicks.
You were dared.
The truth is obvious… this sucks!