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Blumhouse's Truth Or Dare (Unrated Director's Cut)

Universal // Unrated // July 17, 2018
List Price: $34.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted July 24, 2018 | E-mail the Author



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Truth or Dare Blu-ray Review


Truth or Dare is a horror-thriller from
producer Jason Blum
(Get Out, Split). The film stars
Lucy Hale (Pretty
Little Liars
) and a host of other young actors. The film is
from
director Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2). It's a thriller
reminiscent
of late-night 1990's genre films.


Olivia Barron (Lucy Hale) is invited to a party with some
friends:
Lucas Moreno (Tyler Posey), Markie Cameron (Violett Beane), Brad
Chang (Hayden Szeto), and Penelope Amari (Sophia Ali). Expecting a
mundane trip, things become complicated when the students get
involved in a game of "truth or dare" with significantly higher
stakes than your average spin-the-bottle style game. With this
supernatural game, the stakes are raised to life or death. If you
can't say the truth or follow through on the dare you die. You have
to pass along a truth or dare to another for the game to continue.


Markie Cameron is faced with the truth of her multiple
affairs:
she regularly cheats on boyfriend Lucas Moreno. Olivia is faced with
the fact that she's in love with her best friend's boyfriend, Lucas,
and the fact that she's aware of her friend's unfaithfulness to
Lucas. Brad must face his own fears in struggling with his
homosexuality and his fear of confronting his parents about his
identity. Penelope faces her own inner demons and struggles. Each
character in the film must face their flaws in order to not die
during this wicked game of "truth or dare" to the extreme.


The film's trailers give away the film's primary visual
gimmick:
the horror-style Snapchat filters with an array of warped appearances
of the characters when the "game" turns on. Each face turns to a
darkly menacing expression and style. These special effects are truly
awful and the quality and style feels mind-numbing in it's horrendous
execution. It's dull, cheap, and an ill-conceived gimmick.


The score by Matthew Margeson (Kingsman: The Secret
Service
)
is a bit of a 90's throwback with an emphasis on jump-scares. The
score is your typical genre-flick offering with the emphasis on the
shock value of surprising the audience more-so than is it a score
focused on the emotional or dramatic.


The cinematography by Jacques Jouffret (The Purge)
is
slickly produced but lacks a feeling of authenticity. The movie can't
be totally faulted for it's crisp photography but it also isn't
something which stands out as being particularly effective on the
whole. It doesn't make a big impression and the digital photography
feels too cold and perfunctory. This film's photography is a good
example of why the warmth and feeling of actual film can be so much
more effective and important to a film's artistic style. While
digital can look excellent sometimes... when it lacks depth, or
feeling, it falters.


The screenplay by Michael Reisz, Jillian Jacobs, Christopher
Roach, and Jeff Wadlow is the film's biggest weakness. This film
lacks an even remotely interesting or compelling story. The
characters always feel like generic caricatures. These characters do
not reflect actual people. The concept and execution of the game is a
ridiculous event too: the entire game relies on everyone doing
ill-will on to others with no character deciding to do something
right for another by ending the game. It makes this a cringe-worthy
film experience where no characters feel relatable or likable.


Directed by Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass
2
), the film also lacks any great scares or horror-style
sequences. If you're watching this for a scary flick, too, you'll be
disappointed to find this can't even deliver on that base level. The
film is not even remotely scary and feels like a watered-down made
for television movie. There's nothing even remotely scary about awful
CG special effects that remind you of smartphone filters. There's
also nothing scary in a movie with a mind-numbing story which is
constantly meandering towards the brink of its own extinction.
Wadlow's style of filmmaking feels unoriginal, generic, and worst of
all, uninspired. I dare you to skip this movie.


The Blu-ray:




Video:


Truth or Dare is presented on Blu-ray with
a 1080p high
definition MPEG-4 AVC encoded presentation. This is a strong
high-definition release with excellent sharpness, clarity, and
overall definition. The digital photography looks slick and modern.
Color reproduction is excellent as well. While the film has an almost
"too-digital" look at times, it's hard to argue with the quality
of the film production photography: it just lacks in character or the
feel of a more natural cinematic presentation.


Audio:


The release is presented in lossless quality DTS-HD Master
Audio
5.1. The audio quality is fine with good dialogue clarity which is
easy to understand. There is appropriate emphasis on the score music
by Matthew Margeson. The release includes optional descriptive video
service and subtitles in English SDH (for the deaf and hard of
hearing), Spanish, and French.




Extras:


This release of Truth or Dare: Unrated Director's Cut
includes both the PG-13 version and the unrated version.


Please Note: The unrated version is almost
identical to the
theatrical version with it just running 30 seconds longer. This is
not some sort of "extended edition director's cut" version.


Feature Commentary with director Jeff
Wadlow and actress
Lucy Hale


Game On: The Making of Truth or Dare (HD, 7
min.) featurette is a behind the scenes feature on the making of the
film
featuring interviews with the director, producer Jason Blum, and the
cast of the film.


Directing the Deaths (HD, 4 min.) is a
featurette in which
the director discusses the execution of the death scenes throughout
the film.


Final Thoughts:


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;">
Truth or Dare is a horrendous horror-thriller with
no
originality, wit, or style. The film has awful CG effects, a
paper-thin story with unlikable characters, and a lack of even
moderately successful scares. This film fails on every
level. The truth of the matter? This movie sucks, plain and simple.


style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;">
If there's any silver living to my having watched it, it's that I've
hit a new review milestone writing for DVDTalk. This review marks my
600th review for the site. Now to watch
something with
heart...


Skip It.



Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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