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Film / Truth or Dare (2018)

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Truth or Dare (alternatively known as Blumhouse's Truth or Dare) is a 2018 horror film directed by Jeff Wadlow (Cry_Wolf, Kick-Ass 2, True Memoirs of an International Assassin) and starring:

A group of college students have to struggle to survive when a curse begins taking the Truth or Dare game too far by killing anyone who lies or doesn't do the dare they are told to do.

Not to be confused with the 1986 film, Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness or the 2017 film Truth or Dare (2017), which sported a very similar plot.

Truth or Dare has examples of the following:

  • Actor Allusion: This wouldn't be the first time that Lucy Hale starred in a teen-oriented work about truth and lies, one in which her character has a dark secret concerning somebody's death.
  • Advertising by Association: The trailer advertises the film as being "From the producer of Get Out (2017), The Purge and Happy Death Day".
  • The Alcoholic: Penelope's defining character trait.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Invoked with Penelope's first dare, which forces her to walk the perimeter of the roof while finishing off a bottle of liquor.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Whatever Calux does next to whoever gets pulled into the game next through Olivia’s video posted online. Not to mention what will happen to Olivia and Markie when Calux eventually gets back to them.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Even though he is brought into the game as a player and left vulnerable and then unable to target Olivia and Markie thanks to the video made by the former, Calux succeeded in destroying the one chance Olivia, Lucas and Markie had to seal him away by killing Carter before he could perform the necessary ritual and also kills Lucas too while he is at it.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: After Olivia publicly reveals that Markie has been cheating on Lucas, Olivia tries to explain what's going on to Markie and grabs her arm, leading to Markie telling her to get her hands off of her or else she'll break her hand. Later, the curse dares Markie to break Olivia's hand.
  • Big Bad: Calux, the demon behind the game's supernatural force.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Ronnie decides not to "show his business" and has his eyes turn black right before he slips over a cue ball and breaks his neck.
  • Car Cushion: Penelope falls off the roof of the house and lands on top of Olivia's car. Markie and Brad are able to throw a mattress under her before she hits.
  • Car Fu: Olivia uses her car to batter open the spiked gates Penelope is in danger of falling on top of. Penelope then falls on top of the car.
  • Demonic Possession: A demon named Calux has possessed the truth or dare game within the film. Anybody who breaks the rules is possessed by him too to enforce them.
  • The Determinator: When Markie is dared to break Olivia's hand, Olivia convinces her to in order to spare Markie whatever fate the game has for her.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The obvious solution to the problem of being forced to fulfill dares or die is to only pick "Truth". When the game gets to Penelope, she isn't given the option to pick "Truth" and has to perform a dare. Giselle later explains that when she and her friends started the game, it was "Two Truths and a Dare", as they thought it would be boring if the players could always pick "Truth".
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Carter is fine with letting strangers get killed by the curse as long as he gets to live.
    • Olivia ends up being one as well, cursing thousands of people into joining the game, killing an untold amount of people.
    • Calux, rather than get imprisoned again, uses a loophole to cheat the game and prevent the ritual that would do so from being performed.
  • Downer Ending: Calux ends up killing Sam and Lucas before they can put an end to the curse. When Calux tells Olivia that the game won't stop until everyone is dead, Olivia posts a video that is seen worldwide, forcing everyone that watches it to play the game too.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Markie's father did this long before the events of the film.
    • Under the influence of the game, this is the fate of Tyson, Giselle, and Lucas.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even though Markie is angry at Olivia, she doesn't want to break her hand when she's dared to by the curse, and looks horrified after she's forced to do it anyway, as opposed to getting killed by the curse.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: The demon was summoned in the first place by a nun wanting to punish a priest for sexually assaulting them. She eventually sealed him away by sacrificing her tongue, but the events of the movie show this was clearly a drastically shortsighted action.
  • Eye Scream: Tyson jams a pen into his eye before driving it further into his head by slamming his head against a wall.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When the group finds Giselle, they name-drop Carter, and she appears confused when she hears that name. This is a clue that Sam used Carter as a fake name.
    • During the first game of truth or dare, Olivia is asked whether or not she would allow the entire population of Mexico to die if it meant that she and her friends would live. She answers no. This turns out to be a lie at the end of the film as she condemns the entire world to die in order to save herself and Markie.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: The guys cheer while watching Penelope make out with Olivia on a dare.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Only the characters' reactions are shown when Markie breaks Olivia's hand with a hammer.
  • Horror Hates a Rulebreaker: Refuse the dares and you're forced to kill yourself.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Calux hates when the players break the rules to the point of killing them over it, but breaks the rules himself several times, in spirit if not literally.
      • The curse can manifest as a person's reflection in an otherwise empty room, even though the point of the game is to have multiple players.
      • Olivia chooses Dare to avoid Truth, which isn't against the rules in any way. Calux gets around this by daring Olivia to confess the truth about her involvement in Markie's father's death.
      • Calux uses the possessed Lucas to kill Sam in order to prevent the latter from doing a ritual to seal Calux. This is despite the fact that Sam had completed his dare and wasn't otherwise in violation of the rules.
    • When told by another player that he 'had no choice' but to bring more people into the game, thus ensuring their deaths, Olivia proclaims "Of course he did!". By the end of the movie, Olivia does the exact same thing on an even larger scale.
    • Markie gets mad at Olivia for being dared to sleep with Lucas, despite her cheating on him numerous times.
  • Identical Grandson: The same actress who plays Inez's granddaughter portrays the young Inez in the flashbacks.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The film was sometimes marketed as "Blumhouse's Truth or Dare" to highlight the involvement of Blumhouse Productions, and possibly to differentiate it from a Syfy Channel Original Movie of the same name from 2017.
  • I Never Told You My Name: When the group goes to Giselle, Giselle addresses Olivia by name. When she mentions having picked "Dare" for her latest turn, Olivia realizes to her horror that she never gave her name in the message. Giselle then reveals her dare is to kill Olivia.
  • Kubrick Stare: The Movie. Every single person possessed by the demon makes this face.
  • Loophole Abuse: Calux is tied to the old mission and people can only be added to the game from that location. Olivia uses this to add Calux to the game by getting Markie to refuse her dare and then asking him during her possession, then adds the entire world by recording a YouTube video from that location.
  • Love Triangle: One guy asks Markie if she's aware that Olivia is in love with her boyfriend Lucas, to which Olivia angrily says "Will you stop?"
  • Mirror Monster: Penelope is confronted by the curse, which appears in the form of her own reflection.
  • Morton's Fork: Olivia routinely chooses Dare in order not to have to sell Markie the truth about her father's suicide. But this just leads to her being dared to tell her anyway.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Markie, despite being angry at Olivia for telling Lucas that she has been cheating on him, doesn't actually want to break her hand, but Olivia urges her to do it so that the curse doesn’t retaliate.
  • Neck Snap: Ronnie is dared to show his "business" at a bar, but chickens out when he's taunted about having a small penis. As a result, he's forced to slip on a cue ball and breaks his neck on the next pool table over.
  • Nightmare Face: The face of anyone who's cursed contorts into an unconvincing grin that looks like a cross between The Joker or Aphex Twin.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Demons can possess places and even ideas here.
  • Precision F-Strike: During Markie's dare to break Olivia's hand:
    Olivia: Oh, don't tell me you're a fucking coward like your dad?
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Anyone who lies or won't do their dare is possessed and forced to kill themselves.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Olivia. Since the guy who spread the curse to her and her friends isn't one of them, he's a jerk and has no excuse. But then at the end, Olivia spreads the curse even more by posting it on YouTube, basically committing the same crime but on an even greater scale. The fact that she apologizes before doing it doesn't make it any better.
  • Sequel Hook: Olivia posting the video online bringing anyone who watches it into the game now opens the door for Calux to target even more people.
  • Slasher Smile: Calux’s expression in a nutshell as anyone whom he manifests as wears a rather creepy grin when asking a victim to play Truth or Dare.
  • Tempting Fate: After Olivia lets it slip that Markie is cheating on Lucas because of the curse forcing her to, Markie angrily says "Touch me again, and I'll break your hand." Guess what she's forced to do by the curse?
  • Tongue Trauma: In an effort to return Calux whence he came, Carter starts cutting his own tongue out (the same as Inez had done during the original game). He is killed when he is only partway through.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailers show the deaths of Ronnie and Tyson.