Truth or Dare
starring David Oakes, Liam Boyle, Jack Gordon, Florence Hall, Jennie Jacqes, Tom Kane, Jason Maza, David Sterne and Alexander Valos
written by Matthew McGuchan
directed by Robert Heath
This movie looked scary when I saw adverts for it. But after renting and watching it I was squirming with anxiety for it to end. It’s another trapped, no escape, dead teenager story. A group of four young people is trapped in the countryside with the deranged elder brother of a former classmate. The man is bent on learning if one of the four is responsible for driving his beloved younger brother to suicide. He ties them each to a chair, spins a bottle, and the chosen candidate must either confess to provoking their former friend with a malicious postcard (the truth) or else accept a dare. Naturally the dares threaten horrific death. The bound youngsters are forced to watch either the death right before their eyes, or else the lucky survival of their friends.
The idea of the story is as clever as these things can be. But the weak point is that the entire story depends on an aristocratic family’s fear of being stained with the reputation of one of its young members being gay. It seems a bit outdated today, when more and more courts are declining to recognize accusations of homosexuality as slander. Forced outing isn’t a slander in today’s world. But in this film the entire story hinges on it. It’s so stupid. I wondered if it is a typical British thing, like binge drinking or something. I can understand the premise of violence stemming from a spurned, jealous ex-lover. That makes perfect sense. But stemming from a defense of “family honor” in today’s Britain? Yawn.