REVIEW: Jeff Wadlow’s “Truth or Dare” (2018)

I wanna play a game. In this game, if you don’t do what you’re told, you die. But it’s not Jigsaw who’s tormenting people, it’s a demon called Calax forcing people to play Truth or Dare.

Truth or Dare is a horror-thriller film directed by Jeff Wadlow about a group of college friends who took a trip to Mexico for spring break, expecting loads of fun and drinking…only to wind up playing a twisted, high-stakes game. The plot is like Saw had a baby with Stay Alive. You play to live, and if you don’t do what’s expected, you die. Huge bummer for party-going college kids on their last ever spring break.

So, here’s our characters. The two best friends who have secrets within their secrets, Olivia and Markie. Olivia is an innocent-acting, goodie-two-shoes who’s secretly in love with the other’s boyfriend. Markie is a total slut who also really misses her dad. Lucas is Markie’s boyfriend, and he sometimes wishes he was with Olivia instead. Brad is openly gay to everyone except his homophobic cop father. Penelope has a drinking problem, and does whatever her boyfriend, Tyson tells her to do. Then Tyson wants to be a doctor and to help him prepare to write his future prescriptions, he writes fake ones to sell to his classmates.

What a great big bunch of friends. There’s also Ronnie, a dirty sleazebag trying (and failing) to get into everyone’s pants. And Carter, the guy who brings this whole mess down upon these kids. All normal, all good. Then the game gets everyone’s secrets out into the open. There’s fighting, there’s “I can’t believe you’d do this to me” type of drama.

I wanted to see this movie in theaters but didn’t. Then I planned on watching it on Amazon or something at some point but never did. Until, I started a seven-day free trial for Cinemax just so I could watch My Soul to Take. Turns out Truth or Dare is on there. All this time I’ve waited, only to be disappointed.

I wish I could say I liked this movie, but I really didn’t. It was boring and the idea is overused. Play the game or die. And what’s with the only way to stop the game is to chant something in Spanish seven times then cutting out your tongue? Seems excessive, if you ask me. It all just seemed stupid.

Then, it didn’t even end in a sensible way. The whole movie, Olivia was shown to be this caring, selfless person who would kill herself before she would anyone else. She was even asked in the very beginning of the film if she would let all her friends and herself be killed, or millions of other people. She chose to save the millions of others. Then, at the end, she did just the opposite. She made a YouTube video about the game and asked the world, truth or dare? Like, she just sentenced everyone who will ever see the video to death.

In other words, this girl singlehandedly purged the world. Out of character and insane. If she truly wanted to save her and her friend, just end it then and there. So, none of them would have to suffer ever again.

I rate it 3/10 stars. The 3 is for Lucy Hale alone. Give it a watch and tell me what you think.

REVIEW: Wes Craven’s “My Soul to Take” (2010)

I’ve seen a lot of movies in my time. Some good, some bad. Some were just…the worst mistakes I’ve ever had the displeasure of witnessing. But today, we’re going to talk about a movie that had a bad rating, but honestly I kind of liked: My Soul to Take.

Starring Max Thieriot, John Magaro and Raúl Esparza, My Soul to Take is about a serial killer to returns to his hometown to stalk seven children who were all prematurely born on the same day he was allegedly killed.

Earlier in the movie, a character named Jeanne-Baptiste from Haiti said that, “down there they don’t say that someone like [Abel] has multiple personalities.” Rather, they have “multiple souls.” So the seven souls of the Riverton Ripper transferred to the vessels of the seven children who were born on the day he died. One of these souls was the bad, killer soul.

I was kind of confused about what direction this movie was going. We saw earlier in the movie that the killer had schizophrenia and likely dissociated identity disorder which is why he killed, without knowing about it. Then his son, one of the Riverton Seven, is also shown suffering from the same disorders. You kind of expected Bug to be the killer because of this.

I mean, let’s see, he was talking to various different voices, later in the movie, he talked about absorbing souls. He is said to have already killed people and have been in institutions. Like, you’re going through the whole movie thinking that he’s the killer.

But it’s Craven, he’s going to put a spin on it. It’s not going to be who it’s been winding up to be the whole time…even though it makes total sense.

So the killer is one of the other Riverton Seven kids, who has the bad soul. So we’re back to magic and stuff like that. It seemed scientific, but no there’s a weird devil spin to it.

I was hoping that the real ripper, Abel Plenkov, was actually alive and well, living in the woods, plotting his revenge. But, no, not the case.

The characters were grossly underdeveloped, so I had absolutely no emotion when they were killed. The entire movie moved as if either Bug was the killer, or the Ripper was still alive. Besides Jeanne-Baptiste’s remark earlier in the film, there was no indication whatsoever that the whole soul transferring thing took place.

I love Wes Craven a lot, and I think this story idea could have had real promise. It wasn’t executed to the best of Craven’s ability.

I rate it 2/10 stars.

All in all, good idea, bad movie. Still, give it a watch and tell me what you think.