Hey gang, Valkor here. And I'm back with a duo of film reviews that's based on two popular party favorites; first on the chopping block is Truth or Die DVD aka Truth or Dare. This one comes from the UK, is directed by Robert Heath, and it puts a deadly spin on the popular game.
Truth or Die starts off at a house party, where a group of friends are playing the British version of the game where one spins the bottle and whomever the mouth points to, is given the choice of truth or dare. When the mouth lands on Felix (Tom Kane), he chooses truth and has to answer the question: which girl at the party he'd like to hook up with. He's already has his sights on Gemma (Florence Hall), so naturally he chooses her. However Gemma's boyfriend Chris (Jack Gordon) isn't having any of that, giving Felix a little chin music to put him in his place. The scene ends where Felix is outside tending his wounds and is approached by… someone.
Months later a handful from that party, which includes Gemma, Chris, Gemma's friend Eleanor (Jennie Jaques), Eleanor's boyfriend Paul (Liam Boyle), and their friend Luke (Alexander Vlahos), are all invited to Felix's birthday party at his home. Upon arrival and after trekking past the big family house to the caretaker's cabin where the actual party is supposed to take place, the group is met by Felix's older brother Justin (David Oakes), who informs them that Felix is stuck in Chile after a flight cancellation. However he asks the group to stay and hang out. And after much drinking and some drug use, Justin kicks the party into gear with a game of… you guessed it – truth or dare. Only during the game, Justin reveals that Felix isn't stuck in Chile and that he's actually dead; hung himself actually. And the only clue as to why he did it is a postcard that was in his pocket that read "truth or dare, bitch". But how did he single out this particular group? Well Felix kept a photo of the five with their faces scratched. So Justin, who I should note is also a military man, uses his skills in a deadly take on the game to determine who amongst the group sent the letter that killed his brother. The obvious choice is Chris, however as tensions mount, secrets are revealed and what was thought to be a brutal interrogation on who sent the letter, takes a turn for the deadly for the worse.
After watching Truth or Die, I have to say that there aren't too many films where you really don't care too much about the main characters; seriously if midway through, everyone just exploded in a huge bloody mess, I'd probably say "ah well fuck em" and go make a sandwich. Does that mean the film is bad? Not by a long shot and I'll tell you why in the TOV Breakdown.
Truth or Die is a revenge/thriller, blended with torture horror that's clever, intense, and oh so entertaining. The plot starts out pretty straightforward, but there are a few predictable twists as the film progresses, with one amazingly unpredictable twist at the end. The film doesn't focus too much on the main character's backstory, which is fine by me because that's less time trying to "like" these characters and more time setting them up for the fall they're about to take. Now I mentioned torture before and with torture comes gore right? Well the level of gore is pretty gruesome, but not as extreme as say Hostel or Grotesque, but there's enough that'll make you squeamish. Two words – battery acid. The acting is a mix between good and really hamming it up. Either way, I won't complain because I think everyone performed well enough to carry the story through to its climatic end. Overall, Truth or Die… way better than I had anticipated. Not as intense as say Eden Lake, but still damn good.
There are a few events that happen that'll make you shake your head or yell at the screen; one scene in particular involves Luke, whose friend Jonesy (Jason Maza) drops by. He's confronted by Justin and the two get into a scuffle with Jonesy gaining the upper hand. Mind you Luke's friends are tied up in teh cabin with one of them shot up, and he's holding an ice pick. You'd think he'd try something - anything! But no dice. I'm also not in full favor of the whole Luke's turning to the dark side bit. Luke… dark side… I get it! Funny joke! No, no it's not! Also the film needed more tortures, a touch more gore, and boobs.
Battery acid. That's all that needs to be said about that.
Truth or Die is available now and it's a solid revenge/thriller, filled with a decent amount of gore, loads of suspense, a lovely twist ending, and cheesy good performances that's definitely worth checking out. So, out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Truth or Die a well-rounded 4 stars. Next up: Would You Rather?