Thursday, April 12, 2018

A game not worth playing

In horror movies, youth seldom seems a blessing. You know the drill: Something happens (perhaps an occult event) and one-by-one, young folks meet with some sort of horrific end. Blumhouse's Truth or Dare tries to freshen the formula by having a group of college seniors play a lethal game of truth or dare. During spring break in Mexico, these California college bubbleheads encounter an unleashed demon that brings death to those who fail to tell the truth or complete a dare. The haunted game follows the crew back to California where things become increasingly serious. Truth or dare challenges are posed to this unappealing lot (a hunk, an arrogant pre-med student, a gay student, a blonde sorority type, etc.) by someone the demon temporarily possesses. The face of each challenger suddenly changes, transformed by an eerie, fun-house mirror smile that's supposed to creep us out. The real problem when it comes to movies such as Blumhouse's Truth Dare involves summoning new forms of creativity to show the ways in which victims are dispatched. One example: The jerk of the group falls off a pool table after chickening out on a dare that required him to expose himself in a crowded barroom. He hits his head and dies. He's gone. For us, the game continues -- not a good thing.

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