There are some films that donít immediately hook you as a viewer and Truth Or Dare is certainly one such example. In an opening scene that seems to struggle to find a clear narrative path through slightly clunky acting and forced, unnatural dialogue we are introduced to the Truth Or Daredevils who play a version of the familiar game, just with the added edge of potential health risk.
In these initial scenes we see them playing Russian Roulette in which one of the team is supposedly shot, the whole thing revealed as a prank on a talk show, and finally the group being accosted by a super fan who wants to play a game of Truth Or Dare with real danger to life and reputation. And thatís when everything gets interesting!
In an age when a filmís marketing can easily and often become more impressive and memorable than the product it is promoting it is refreshing to come across an instance where that is not the case. There is no doubt that the people behind Film Truth Or Dare embarked on a calculated and ambitious viral campaign to draw as much publicity as possible to their project but they did so without revealing too much of what horrors were to come.
As the film progresses from simple yet fearful terror it reaches a level of cruelty and brutality that even hardened genre fans may find uncomfortable. The performances are a little wayward at times and it could be argued the camera work is occasionally clumsy but these are pedantic complaints that will be long forgotten when the full extent of Cameron and co-writer Jonathan Higginsí imaginations are revealed in a growing pool of bloody gore.
Whether by accident or design also, each actor seems to improve with time, as if they needed a level of intensity in order to fully realise their characters, and their inherent desperation at the futility of their situation becomes more and more pronounced. What is really impressive though is that Cameron, directing her first feature, has really captured a level of tension and terror that is rarely seen in modern horror films. Whether from years of experience as a modern day scream queen or in trusting her natural instincts (most likely a combination of the two) she has balanced an uneasy empathy with the characters with a fearful dread of what is to come.
Film Truth Or Dare is brilliantly unpleasant and unashamedly cringe-inducing in pushing the limits of viewer acceptance. With a subtlety that sets it apart from features such as Hostel and the like, and which just goes to make the visceral suffering all the more real and impactful, this is a film that will surely and steadily develop a strong and passionate following. Film Truth Or Dare will receive its UK Premiere at Film4 Frightfest on 25th August.