• by Wes Singleton

Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare, C

Rated PG-13, 100 minutes

Let's play a game of truth or dare. Do you want the truth about the new horror film "Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare" or should I dare you to go see it on your own? I'll choose truth for now and if you want to take your chances, go for it. The mildly entertaining "Truth or Dare" starts out OK with a few novel flourishes, but it goes on too long and too silly, with a baffling ending that seems picked out of a magic bag of tricks.

Olivia ("Pretty Little Liars'" Lucy Hale), Lucas (Tyler Posey of "Teen Wolf" fame) and a group of their college friends travel to Mexico for one last getaway before graduation. While there, a stranger named Carter (Landon Liboiron) convinces one of the students to play a seemingly harmless game of truth or dare with the others. Once the game starts, it awakens something evil -- a demon which forces the friends to share dark secrets and confront their deepest fears. The rules are simple but wicked -- tell the truth or die, do the dare or die, and if you stop playing, you die.

"Truth or Dare" is a serviceable but ultimately forgettable horror thriller about a seemingly innocent game of truth or dare that goes on too long. It's directed by Jeff Wadlow ("Kick-Ass 2") and is co-written by Wadlow, Michael Reisz ("Shadowhunters"), Jillian Jacobs and Chris Roach. Generally, when you see a group of writers, it could sometimes spell trouble as all try to incorporate their own ideas. It starts out OK, but goes awry in the middle act when it tries to explain the game, which makes it all the more confusing.

There are some nice touches along the way, especially some nifty, low-grade visual effects: the evil smiley faces that they make when they are possessed by the game is creepy fun. From there, it's a predictable mish-mash of knocking off some attractive young folks who don't know better. It's also rife with plot holes and silly explanations of how the game is passed on from one to another.

The dumb climax (and especially the ending, which doesn't make any sense at all), taking place in a church in Mexico, is more "Exorcist" or "The Omen" than a crafty horror piece about an old game who possesses people to do horrible things. "Truth or Dare" doesn't do anything except present more bad ideas about building a wall (and note to Trump: this is a work of fiction). The premise is an original one, but this is a Blumhouse horror effort that fails in execution.

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