Oh, teenage/college age horror films, how I love your flimsy nonsensical logic. I love your over-the-top acting, stupidly insane death scenes and most of all, how you are all essentially exactly the same. In turn, pretty much every trailer for one of these movies is damn similar. Today I watched the trailer for Truth or Dare? A very fitting title for a teenage/college age horror film, you might think. In this movie, the game… is a game of death! Obviously, you didn’t need me to tell you that. I’m sure you were able to glean that info from the fact it’s the title of a horror movie.
Evidently, we start our movie off with a crew of stereotypical looking college kids… I think? It’s hard to tell when all the actors in these movies are pushing thirty—but rambling about that would just be flogging a dead horse, so I digress. They are playing, who would have guessed it, Truth or Dare? (Note to the editor: do I need to put the actual game’s name in italics as well because it’s the same as the movie? No? Yeah okay, good, what’s that? Stop trying to somehow make this shit joke funny? Fine…) We start strong in the dare department with some forced girl-on-girl kissing. This is all in good taste of course… then one of the group, I’m going to call him Mysterious Guy #1, is asked a question about our protagonist Olivia, played by Lucy Hale. He answers by saying he needed someone with friends, so he pursued her to bring the group to the creepy… house? Warehouse? I can’t tell, the shots are so dark and vague they could be in one of their parent’s basements for all I know. He did this because he was fine with watching strangers die but didn’t want to die himself… spooky. From here, we receive exposition from Mysterious Guy #1 that the game is real! Well yeah, it is, it’s not a fictional game like Yu-Gi-Oh because that would be ridiculous. What he really means by ‘real’, we learn as the trailer continues, is that if you lie or don’t complete a dare in this game, you die.
Look, whilst the trailer for Truth or Dare? contains all your regular horror trailer tropes and dumb silly lines, it does have a few things going for it. I find the premise interesting and the idea is conveyed well but I think what may let this film down is the fact that the game follows them home—turning this into just a simple teenage horror. With some creative thinking, and I’m just spitballing here, they could have kept the group in the same place and created a more Saw-inspired situation and turned the film up a notch. The trailer doesn’t really explain how the game works, it just seems to follow them around by possessing people and forcing them to play. But hey, I suppose they needed to leave some mystery for the film. There’s one final thing: the faces the possessed people make. Characters’ eyes expand and mouths contract into this hideous smile, and whilst this is achieved through some obviously crappy CGI, every time one of the characters had that face on it seriously unsettled me. So, has the trailer left me wanting to see the flick? No, but those faces are going to stay in my mind for a long time.
Watch it here: