Will You Play Truth or Dare?

Blumhouse Productions looks to continue its domination of horror in the cineplex with its latest release, Truth or Dare. Over the last several years, the genre-specialty studio has played a huge role in re-branding horror and increasing its appeal among mainstream audiences. One could even argue that Blumhouse has become to the 2000’s what Universal Studios was to the 1930s and 1940s, and Hammer Films to the 1960s and 1970s.

What Do We Know So Far?

Truth or Dare looks like an attempt to play on the latest moral panic, the Blue Whale challenge. It’s the latest horror film to examine a ‘game’ turned deadly, with a supernatural force lashing out at attractive young adults who play a game of ‘truth or dare’. Based on a screenplay credited to four writers, when a ‘player’ fails to tell the truth or complete the dare, they’re killed.

Jeff Wadlow, whose previous directorial efforts include Kick-Ass 2 and forgotten slasher Cry Wolf, is in the director’s chair. The requisite attractive twenty-something cast is headed by Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars), Tyler Possey (Teen Wolf), and Violett Beane (The Flash). The film also looks to kickstart a new horror trend, leaving behind creepy animal makes, and replacing them with the digitally-altered, exaggerated facial expressions

Will Blumhouse’s Luck Run Out on Friday the 13th?

To date, the Tomatometer score for Truth or Dare is pretty rotten, clinging to a 20% ‘Rotten’ score. With a string of hit films including Get Out, Happy Death Day, and the Insidious films, over the last several years, Truth or Dare might be tempting fate with its Friday the 13th release date.

…it looks like a cynical production leveraging a current trend and assembling familiar faces from CW network shows to draw in the young teen audience…

With its PG-13 rating, Truth or Dare has prompted the tired debate among horror fans concerning whether ‘true’ horror films can be PG-13 (a subject for a future article on the blog). From my perspective, horror doesn’t need the explicit gore and violence that earns an R-rating to be effective and engaging. The problem for Truth or Dare may be that it sort of looks like a cynical production leveraging a current trend and assembling familiar faces from various CW Network shows to draw in the young teen audience for a quick box office weekend to see a film that may not be particularly good.

Will you be checking out Truth or Dare? Check our blog early next week for a full review.

 

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Author: Andrew Welsh

I am a Criminology professor in Canada but I've always had a passion for horror films. Over the years I've slowly begun incorporating my interest in the horror genre into my research. After years of saying I wanted to write more about horror I have finally decided to create my own blog where I can share some of my passion and insights into the films I love.

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