"Truth Or Dare"

(2013)

 

 

Director: Jessica Cameron

Written By: Jonathan Higgins & Jessica Cameron

 

Principal Cast:

Jennifer-Jessica Cameron

Derik-Ryan Kiser

Michelle-Heather Dorff

Ray-Shelby Stehlin

Courtney-Devanny Pinn

John-Jesse Wilson

Tony-Brandon Van Vliet

 

                                            "Six college kids find internet stardom when they make "Truth or Dare" videos with a violent twist. It is all fun and games until their number one fan decides he wants to play by his own rules." So goes the official synopsis of "Truth Or Dare", the directorial debut of rising genre star, Jessica Cameron. I've been waiting forever to get my hands on a screener of this film for a very long time, was it worth the wait? Read on...

 

                                                       Featuring an impressive cast of indie actors, and a violent, cringe inducing, narrative, "ToD" is part "torture porn", part scathing social commentary on: the YouTube culture, the "me" generation of 20-somethings, and "reality" television--you don't have to dig deep to find plenty of subtext in this film! The "Truth Or Daredevils" gang, the virginal Jennifer, the party girl/sexpot Courtney, the bitchy Michelle, all-American John, slightly creepy Ray and the loveable douche-bag Tony, at first seem like the requisite cookie cutter characters so common in horror films (all they need is the angry black man or token gay guy!). However, after obsessed fan Derik, upset at what he perceives as a fraud video by the group, takes them hostage at gunpoint, the game gets "real" and we soon learn that all is not what it seems with this group of co-eds.

 

                                                       Frenetically paced, well shot, superbly acted, and with a "nothing is taboo" attitude, "ToD" manages to breathe some fresh life into a shopworn premise (shades of "Saw" among others) without falling into too many of the gratuitous/absurd trappings of many films of this ilk. Virtually nothing is sacred--incest, pedophilia, and a few other normally "off-limits" subjects are not only broached, but trotted out for all to see in this splatter filled romp. Cameron directs it all with an unflinching eye, and heaps literal buckets of gore on the ensemble cast (with exceptional performances from Pinn, Kiser, Dorff and Cameron).

 

                                                       With chills, thrills, and plenty of blood spilled, "Truth or Dare" is a delight for gore hounds and fans of quality, well acted, well written indie fare. Truly an accomplishment for first time director Cameron, this looks to be a precursor for more brutal slices of fright cinema to come. So, to review, a sweet, innocent, harmless looking actress made a gut punch of a film, with suspense, raw violence, and plenty of sanguinary messes--who would of guessed it?

 

9/10

 

Check out the "Truth Or Dare" Facebook page for festival screenings and pre-order the film at: http://truthordarethemovie.com/

 

Tom Gleba-NerdRemix.com