Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Film Review: Truth or Die (2012)

Truth or Die (Review)
United Kingdom/2012
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"The tension in the atmosphere is dreadful..."

After his younger brother, Felix, is humiliated at a party during a game of truth or dare, Justin (David Oakes) invites the prime suspects to Felix's surprise birthday party. Unfortunately, his younger brother has since committed suicide, and the best way to find out why is through a game of truth or die...

Truth or Die is interesting. It starts off with a cliché party full of costumes, drugs, and sex -- with obligatory dubstep music and mixture of slow/fast editing. Now, the surprise party afterwards is where it gets interesting. Justin is looking to avenge his brother's passing, and he'll do it by torturing the people that tortured Felix. He uses a sadistic version of Truth or Dare to force the hands of the players -- to make them turn against each other. The film moves ferociously through its first and second act, but fumbles during the third. The ending is, unfortunately, farfetched and forced -- it feels like it really wants to shock the audience, but it simply doesn’t work.

Truth or Die works mainly off of its intense encounters -- particularly during the games of Truth or Dare. The tension in the atmosphere is dreadful during the quick, emotional exchanges between characters. The torture isn't graphic, but disturbing, nonetheless. The film works extremely well during these sequences, which take place during the first two acts. The final act of the film, however, stumbles. Now, the inconsistent illogicalities becomes more frequent; there are scenes that make you shake your head because it is legitimately unbelievable, they make you scream at the screen: why would you do that!?! There is a solid twist during the final act, but the twist at the very end is farfetched; it just doesn’t seem plausible, and seems to solely be looking for a shock-factor; I appreciate the attempts, though.

The acting, in general, is great. Again, primarily during the first two acts, the cast excels. David Oakes is great as a psychopath looking for revenge; he's got the charisma of a functioning sociopath. Florence Hall is also great throughout her screen time. Jennie Jacques is great during the first two acts. Unfortunately, Jacques' character, despite how physically attractive she may be, takes on a larger role during the final act, which highlights some bad acting: she overacts most of the finale, and her dialogue and delivery is also occasionally cringe-inducing. I blame the dialogue on the rushed writing, though, since her dialogue consists of over delivered, cheesy one-liners. (which, cause more illogicalities.)

Overall, Truth or Die is a very good revenge thriller. It's genuinely thrilling during the first two acts, I was at the edge of my seat during most of the exchanges. However, the final act is bad; it feels rushed and hollow, the ending is weak and implausible, and Jacques takes a turn for the worst. I recommend renting or streaming for fans of the genre.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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