Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 – 2:37 PM
By Adam Sherman
Jeff Wadlow came onto the cinematic scene in 2005, with Cry Wolf, a PG-13 horror film focused around teenagers in danger from a game. It got bad reviews, but made back 15 times its budget. Three years later, he directed Never Back Down – which suffered similar reviews, but still made $41 million on a $20 million budget. Then, in 2013, he directed and wrote Kick-Ass 2, which was much less well-received than – and made less money than – the Matthew Vaughn-directed predecessor. Come 2016, and he directed the Netflix Original, Kevin James-starring True Memoirs of an International Assassin. It serves as his most poorly received film to date.
The pattern is clear – poorly received critically, moderate successes financially. And thus Mr. Wadlow has come full circle. But can Mr. Wadlow gain some degree of true critical success with a return to his roots?
Probably not… but at least there’ll be some laughs and scares to be had.
Truth or Dare focuses on a group of friends who play the titular game during a Spring vacation in Mexico. Upon returning home, the find themselves forced to continue the game by a demonic force, or die.
The acting is passable, with only Lucy Hale serving as a stand-out. However, most of the characters don’t really have any arcs or depth, and even those who do aren’t necessarily safe. Frankly, the movie feels so average overall that there’s nothing truly stand-out to commend outside some laughs and scares that I will not discuss for the sake of avoiding spoilers. The rules of the game and the force controlling it are left too vague. In fact the only real bit of interesting trivia is that Digimon fans may be surprised to learn who one of the film’s writers is.
This film isn’t bad. It’s just not all that interesting or memorable. It comes off as a cheap clone of Final Destination, and a step down from last year’s Happy Death Day.
In short, go see this movie… on a dare. Or go see A Quiet Place (again).
Distributed by Universal Pictures, Truth or Dare opened in theaters last Friday.