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Film Review: Truth or Double Dare (TODD) (2018)

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SYNOPSIS:

The graduating class of 2006 gets together for their 10 yr reunion party. But suddenly, classmates start dying, and its all centered around a game of truth or dare.

REVIEW:

2018 definitely appears to be the year designated for the Truth or Dare named horror films to arise, however seeing that we review quite alot of films at HNN, I can tell you that “that” particular title (Truth or Dare) has been re-used one to many times over the last few years. (which I’m predicting also presents more confusion than needed. (note: This release is “Truth or Double Dare“! for the record)

I tend to lean towards the SAW films as a influencer on these which more of less takes the same approach of “do this or something will happen to you” premise. Even without the gadgets, the idea of making people do things per a recorded invader is the quite the basis of many modern horror films.

Our latest inclusion ups the game with the title of “Truth or Double Dare” using the foolishness of younger people to indulge in game play that requires a personal reveal of some sort or a Dare (bordering on silly, controversial or cringe worthy).

In this latest entry, director Shaquita Smith leads the team thru quite a bit of character building designed to acquaint the viewers with the personalities and backgrounds that lead our characters to a future reunion of truth of dare. Tensions arise as former love interests either move on or are still hanging on to some former feelings which helps to elevate the tension between characters.

Stepping back, much of the film sets its footing into these earlier days of school (year 2006) where dating, relationships, friendships, and grudges are formed setting the tone and persona of each individual. Actress Maia Kavchak as Egypt is clearly set as a focal character who’s primary position appears to be rooted in being the tease antagonist one of the bunch.

Though with any horror driven film, there is a set turning point that leads to chaos. A quick flash into some torture scenes in the film’s beginning set the tone for future mayhem to unfold. It’s not until the half way point in our film that we really get into the horror parts of this movie . (note: I’m not really sure if those torture scenes actually match up to the rest of the film….just saying) A 10 year anniversary sets the date for a gathering of old friends AND…a nice game of truth or dare.

Now prior to this, a Scream-like masked figure begins to kill off a few extras laying the groundwork for what’s to come. While I’m not at liberty to reveal key spoilers, I will say that the Scream influence here is more than just a primary notion.

In retrospect, while comfortably suited with a formula driven appeal, Truth or Double Dare still manages to lay out some professional performances. This was most likely due to the focus on giving their actors some breathing room allowing for the characters to interact and grow more accustomed to their roles and how their directives play out.

Is there a bit of overacting here? Yes, I can’t let the film off the hook on that one that probably follows the direction of …”ok in this scene, you need to up your intensity”. In all Truth or Double Dare is at its core a slasher film. I would suggest cutting the 40 minute lead-in shorter to allow for more background killing incidents to keep viewers reminded that this IS a horror film and not a drama.

In research, “Truth of Double Dare” appears to be a first horror outing for director Shaquita Smith, which means there is much that can learned from this release passing onto future projects in this genre. The movie actually begins with a bigger bang (in first few minutes) than it resolves out to which is a recommended takeaway.

I also will confess that slasher movies are not my favorite form of horror film, however Truth or Double Dare still keeps things close to a solid cross between 80’s and modern horror pieces by incorporating some clever misdirection and tension.

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