Truth or Die (AKA Truth or Dare), directed by Robert Heath (Cereal Killer 2000) and written Matthew McGuchan (Clutch 2016) by is largely a film about bullying, revenge and taking a code of honor too seriously. The basic story: Years after a bloke named Felix (Tom Kane: Doctors TV series) is picked on by party-goers, the bullies are invited to a party in his honor. As you might imagine, things go a little haywire when they show up, and a sadistic version of Truth or Dare ensues (which is why they call it Truth or Die, of course). The premise sounds decent, but does it present the blood and vengeance offered up in the description?
The relatively straightforward story has some things going for it. It does offer a few details you might not expect, but it’s by no means an endless road of twists (not that a movie has to be). Really, Truth or Die is carried mostly by David Oakes (Victoria TV series) as Felix’s brutal, homophobic and militaristic older brother, Justin. His performance helps the story seem more plausible than it already is. Sure, one could say he’s built up too much as an evil Rambo. However, it makes sense that, in trying to avenge his brother’s fate, he would emphasize and exaggerate his badass nature. So, while all his macho bragging and posturing can be annoying, it’s not exactly unrealistic.
Who else stars? Jennie Jacques (Vikings TV series) plays Eleanor, who’s obviously the biggest female flirt of the film. Florence Hall (Dystopia 2013) is Final Girl Gemma, who goes the furthest to find out about Felix’s fate. You also have the likes of Jack Gordon (It’s A Wonderful Afterlife 2011) as Chris, Alexander Vlahos (Versailles TV series) as Luke and Jason Maza (The Tapes 2011) as Jonesy. Still, while I hate to be a negative critic, their characters and performances are a bit on the negligible side. In fact, I scarcely recall anything about them, as they’re such interchangeable stock characters.
Is Truth or Die worth checking out? I would give it a solid maybe. It’s a movie that some will appreciate, as it doesn’t have the feel of a torture porn horror, yet it may keep some people on edge. There’s also a little bit of depth to Justin’s performance, and some interesting takeaways regarding family loyalty and the revenge concept. Given a certain element of mystery regarding Felix, it ends up being a fairly complex story overall, while retaining a straightforward, gradually increasing horror feel. It’s good enough to check out.
What are your thoughts on Truth or Die? Let us know in the comments!