TRUTH OR DARE [FRIGHTFEST 2014]

PrintE-mail Written by Martyn Conterio

MOVIE REVIEW: TRUTH OR DARE / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: JESSICA CAMERON / SCREENPLAY: JESSICA CAMERON, JONATHAN SCOTT HIGGINS / STARRING: JESSICA CAMERON, RYAN KISER, HEATHER DORFF / RELEASE DATE: TBC

Jessica Cameron’s directorial debut, Truth or Dare, is the definition of lowest common denominator horror. Its desire to be nasty makes is akin to an attention-seeking, petulant child throwing a hissy fit in the supermarket. Ultimately, it’s all very embarrassing.

A group of online pranksters, having caused a sensation all across the World Wide Web with a YouTube video showing a member of the team being accidentally killed, attract a lonely nerdlinger named Derik (Kiser). This demented but avid fan takes the Truth or Daredevils hostage and goes about reworking their notorious japes into the real deal.

Truth or Dare is a very low-budget picture that cannot sustain its gory excesses because the acting, dialogue and general nastiness make the whole show torture to sit through. Of the cast, only Kiser really makes any impression at all. His scrawny Mansonesque weirdness is rather fitting because he’ll play the notorious guru/criminal in a forthcoming feature, House of Manson.

Another major problem is the script. For who is there for the audience to engage with, if all the characters are painted as sexual miscreants and liars – some of them, dangerously so? Forcing the gang to sit in a circle, Derik, waving his gun and threatening to kill everybody if they don’t comply, makes them play a game of truth or dare as reimagined by the Jigsaw Killer. The consequences are very painful for all involved. Folk are maimed, tortured and slain one by one, as the maniacal dweeb rants on about the online community and ‘keeping it real’.

One doubts even the most easily sated gorehound would want to sit through this load of baloney. The shocking acts of depravity include a sibling going down on his recently deceased sister, a forced abortion via scissors, eye-gouging and eating glass. The torture porn variety show, as a subgenre and viewing experience, is stale and not the least bit effective. The actors forget that severe pain lasts for hours and not five minutes. The wailing and screaming is pure am-dram ham.

Kicking a film of modest means and intentions is not a nice thing to do, but neither is it pleasant to have to sit through such crap. Only Kiser comes out of Truth or Dare with any credibility. His twitchy presence and performance deserves a far better picture.

Expected Rating: 5 out of 10

Actual Rating:


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