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Watch This Review

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Movie Review

Truth …

Truth is, Olivia didn't have any desire to head down to Mexico for bikini-clad frolicking and tequila-laced sunsets. She was actually pretty pumped about chipping in to help Habitat for Humanity during her spring break. But you know how friends can be. And hers can be pretty persuasive.

Truth …

That's doubly true when it comes to Olivia's bestie, Markie. They've been BFFs forever, and all Markie has to do is dig in her figurative heels and give Olivia a sad-eyed pout and, well, all resistance is futile. Mexico, here they come!

Dare …

Of course, that unexpected trip south of the border makes Olivia's time off a lot more daring. She loves Markie and all of their mutual pals, but she also has some pretty strong feelings of another sort for Markie's super-cute boyfriend, Lucas. Which means that Olivia has to keep herself in constant check. I mean, she doesn't want that little friendship-detonating fact to get out.

Dare …

Things go pretty well. Until, that is, their last night before returning home, when some strange guy dares Olivia and her buds to trek out to a deserted mission in the hills for more drinking and games. And Olivia, sweet little Olivia, dares all of her friends to join in, too.

Of course, the game they play in that creepy old place is Truth or Dare—the party game that prompts friends to do things they'd never do, or say things they'd never say. Like daring someone to dance naked before the group. Or goading someone else to expose a lustful secret crush.

Truth …

It's all a great big drunken blast until the strange guy who led them there spills his own brutal truth: that this version of the game is run by a demonic entity that just won't let you quit.

"You don't tell the truth, you die," he says. "You don't do the dare, you die. You refuse to play, you die." Then he leaves the friends standing there in that rotting, fetid building—half wasted, half laughing and only half understanding.

But don't worry: The truth will dawn on them soon.

Positive Elements

Olivia and her friends all want to stay alive. Most of them strive to keep each other alive, too. Elsewhere, a father expresses his love for his son, even though he doesn't fully understand or agree with the young man's choices.

Spiritual Content

When Olivia arrives at the old dilapidated church building, she discovers pictures of a priest and some nuns. We later find out that one of those women supernaturally summoned a demon that subsequently killed nearly everyone in the church some years before.

We're told that the only way to dispel this entity is to chant a spell seven times and cut off a specific body part as a sacrificial offering.

A corpse in a hospital room comes back to life. Many people are briefly possessed by a demonic being.

Sexual Content

Olivia has sex with one of the guys. She straddles him in bed as they kiss and move realistically. His chest is bare, and we also see her bare back and briefly exposed side breast. In other scenes, Markie and some other girls make out passionately with their guys. (All fully dressed.) A gay character, Brad, walks up to a stranger on the dance floor and kisses him. He later has to admit his homosexuality to his reportedly "homophobic" father.

A couple of the guys in the group toss out crude sexual quips. One of them jumps up on a pool table to expose himself to a crowd as part of a dare. (But he doesn’t follow through.) Another dare, however, requires Lucas to strip naked and dance around in front of his friends. (He does so; we see his bare backside but not his crotch.) Other dares involve same-sex encounters: one guy has to give a lapdance to a male friend, while two of the young women are dared to make out (which they do). "Maybe I'm bi-curious," one of the girls proclaims suggestively afterward.

We hear a story about a priest who molested young nuns at a convent.

A couple of female characters, including Olivia, wear tank tops that reveal some cleavage. Olivia bares her midriff throughout most of the movie.

Violent Content

Nearly all the young people we meet die in nasty, if not overly gruesome ways. This list of bloodless, but still disturbing, deaths is as follows:

A guy snaps his neck after falling off of a pool table. Someone shoves a pen into his own eye and then drives it in farther by slamming his face into the wall. Someone gets doused with lighter fluid and set on fire. Words are burned into a guy's forearm. Olivia's hand is smashed with a hammer, breaking bones and blood vessels.

One young woman is shot in the abdomen, and another shoots herself in the temple. Someone begins cutting out his own tongue with a knife, and we're shown the healed stump of someone else's severed tongue. A guy gets shot in the back, a man slashes his own throat, and a young woman is punched in the face. Another woman passes out and falls off a rooftop.

We also learn that one character's dad committed suicide. She admits that she's kept his gun because she's considered killing herself, too.

Crude or Profane Language

At least half a dozen s-words join a handful of uses of "b--ch" and "h---." God's name is misused several times. Someone spits out the word "whore" a couple of times, too.

Drug and Alcohol Content

It's unclear whether the youthful spring breakers are all of legal drinking age or not, but they all knock back booze like they've already had many years of swilling under their belts. The teens and twentysomething partiers guzzle beers and mixed drinks. They also swig straight out of bottles of tequila and vodka. Several of them appear fairly drunk, and one young woman drinks directly from a bottle of liquor until she passes out.

One of Olivia's friends has a father who is a doctor. The young man swipes his father's prescription pad and writes fake prescriptions for personal profit.

Other Negative Elements

Markie tells Olivia that if she wants to live in the face of the danger surrounding them, she needs to stop thinking about others and start thinking about herself. That self-focused sentiment is voiced several times in the course of the film, and eventually Olivia adopts the idea, trying to protect herself while exposing others to something deadly.

A drunk character vomits repeatedly.

Conclusion

Young women in skimpy outfits.

Teens making out, having sex and getting their drunk on.

Same-gender lip-locking.

Lots of pretty people being murdered in nasty ways.

We've seen that list of pernicious script elements checked off over and over in oh-so-many horror flicks through the decades. So, so many. And yet moviemakers keep cranking out these All Teens Must Die! pics ad nauseam, largely because they tend to offer reliable box office returns on very little investment.

The only differentiating bit here is a demon that possesses people with a flash of red eyes and an overly wicked grin. And that's pretty much the only dramatic hook Truth or Dare has up its vapid sleeves.

In truth, if you've seen this pic's movie trailer, you've seen it all. But, trust me, I wouldn't even ask you to do that on a dare.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Lucy Hale as Olivia; Tyler Posey as Lucas Moreno; Violett Beane as Markie Cameron; Hayden Szeto as Brad Chang; Sophia Ali as Penelope; Nolan Gerard Funk as Tyson Curran

Director

Jeff Wadlow ( )

Distributor

Universal Pictures

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

April 13, 2018

On Video

July 17, 2018

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults
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