Directed by Shaquita Smith [Other horror films: N/A]
While not a necessarily good movie, this was nowhere near as bad as the title or rating on IMDb (3/10 when I first wrote this review, and it’s a 2.4/10 right now) led me to believe. Still, it did come across as rather soulless, which is it’s biggest problem.
The story isn’t really that unique. Combining elements of past films like Truth or Dare (2012) and Most Likely to Die (2015), this flick felt as though it had been done before. That said, for a lower-budget movie (the estimated budget is around a million dollars), it had a decent production, and I sort of liked what they did with the flashbacks in the movie.
Worth noting, the movie, while only an hour long, has a somewhat ambitious plot, and probably more characters than necessary (there’s Michelle, John, Chiggy, Claudia, Egypt, Rashad, Lucas, Juan, Felicity, and Alex as the main characters). It didn’t take much to figure out who was who or what relationships they had with each other, but given the first twenty minutes of an already short movie were devoted entirely to showing these characters, it felt a bit much.
As said, the story’s generic, and while some actors and actresses do decent, others are pretty cringe-worthy. Those who did well include Jake Levin, Jillian McLendon, Caleb Spivak, and Alyx Libby, Spivak and Libby perhaps being my favorites. Austin Chunn and Drew Stephenson didn’t do much for me, but both were moderately competent. Gina Hiraizumi (who is probably one of the most-accomplished cast-members) didn’t work for me, though, and Tevon Plunkett was laughably over-the-top at times. I’m torn by Maia Kavchak – she did well at times in her role, but she also did horribly during a few scenes.
That said, the failures of acting isn’t what brings the movie down the most. It’s that the story, while somewhat well-constructed (despite pathetically weak kills), felt utterly soulless. Some movies of a similar plot, such as the aforementioned Most Likely to Die, Don’t Go to the Runion (2013), and ROT: Reunion of Terror (2008) all had more feeling (Reunion of Terror wasn’t that good, but for an indie horror, it knew what it was going for). This one had a decent story, if not derivative, but I didn’t get the sense that those involved loved what they were doing. It felt a bit stale, especially compared to Don’t Go to the Reunion, which was a clearly made-for-horror-fans-by-horror-fans flick, made for about $18,000.
You could do worse than making a movie without feeling – like I said, there were some good performances here, and the way the story was told, especially regarding the flashbacks, was somewhat inspired. But I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to watch this again if I had those other previously mentioned movies at my disposal.
2 thoughts on “Truth or Double Dare (TODD) (2018)”