Movie Review: Truth or Dare / Cert: 15 / Director: Robert Heath / Screenplay: Matthew McGuchan / Starring: David Oakes, Jack Gordon, Jennie Jacques, Liam Boyle, Florence Hall, Tom Kane / Release Date: August 27th
When a game of truth or dare at a party ends up with one person being attacked and humiliated, it sets into motion a plan of revenge and retribution that can only end badly for everyone involved.
A few months after the incident, five friends are invited to a birthday party for Felix (Kane) – the individual who was the brunt of the practical joke – at his family’s stately home. On arriving, they find the home locked down and apparently deserted. The groundsman advises them that the party is in a summer cabin half a mile down a track into the woods and the five journey off to find the music and alcohol. When they find the cabin, they are met by Justin (Oakes), who introduces himself as Felix’s brother and apologises that they didn’t get the message that Felix is stuck in Chile and the party has been cancelled. The friends agree to Justin’s invite to stay and enjoy the food and drink that has been supplied and Justin decides to liven the party up with a game of truth or dare.
At this point, the festivities take a turn for the sinister as Justin reveals his true intentions and introduces his guests to duct tape and their own chair. What follows is a series of revelations as characters show their true colours and are subjected to some life or death choices and the group have to try and stay alive.
The good news is that this doesn’t resort to torture porn depths, when it could have so easily done so. There are some deliberately unlikeable characters who, when they receive their comeuppance, you are really pleased to see die. The only problem is that most of the characters are well-to-do and so you can’t sympathise with them, even if their intentions are good as sex, lies and murder are all utilised to push the narrative forward. It’s incredibly difficult to root for anyone in particular and although the film doesn’t provide the pay off you’d really hope for, there are some little twists that you may see coming (and a couple you probably won’t), but make it worth watching until the end.
If this had been an American production, it would’ve been shiny, with glossy lead actors but this is nicely grimy, dark and quintessentially British in its execution.