Blumhouse's Truth or Dare (PG-13)

Horror 100 min. April 13, 2018
By Chuck Wilson
In the past dozen years, producer Jason Blum has energized scary movies with a string of inventive hits, including the Paranormal Activity, Insidious and Purge films, while also earning himself a ticket to the Oscars as coproducer of Get Out. Horror fans trust Blumhouse, so why waste the brand on a flick as lame as Truth or Dare?

The fatal game begins for USC senior Olivia (Lucy Hale) and her friends on spring break in Mexico. Secretly pining for Lucas (Tyler Posey), the boyfriend of her lifelong friend Markie (Violett Beane), Olivia lets herself be charmed by Carter (Landon Liboiron), a stranger who soon has Olivia and her pals trekking by cellphone light to a dilapidated mission in the middle of nowhere.

Carter suggests a party game, secrets get revealed, including Olivia's, and then, prompted to reveal his own truth, Carter admits that he lured everyone to the mission because "I'm OK with strangers dying if it means I get to live." Creepy mission curse duly passed on, Carter runs out into the night but not before warning Olivia that the game will follow them home, that they're all doomed to die if they fail to play and, gosh, he's really sorry.

Back at school, Olivia finds herself surrounded by schoolmates with demonically distorted faces who taunt her with the soon to be tiresome query: "Truth or dare?"

Fresh ideas are rare in the horror game, and Truth or Dare quickly devolves into a riff on the Final Destination films, which had Death wittily and methodically on the hunt. There's little precision and zero fun in director Jeff Wadlow's action staging, which tends to be rushed and indistinct.
Jeff Wadlow Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Nolan Gerard Funk, Hayden Szeto, Sophia Taylor Ali Jason Blum Universal Pictures

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