“ Genre: Horror / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Robert Heath / Actors: David Oakes, Liam Boyle, Jack Gordon, Florence Hall, Jennie Jacques ... / DVD released 2012-08-27 at Cine-Britannia / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Dolby, PAL, Widescreen „
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I hesitate in calling this British horror film stylish, but it doesn't fall far from the mark. Something that is likely to keep you watching, it features a group of Uni students who accept an invitation to a party at a remote manor house, only to find that the reasons behind the invitation aren't all that they seem.
The film opens up at a separate party, where the same group ridicule Felix, clearly the outsider and friendless one there. After a little fracas, the film then switches to after the summer holidays, and the friends are on their way to this random party. By now it's all very eerie, and knowing that this is a violent horror film, you suspect that the horror is about to begin.
It's a tale of revenge, and we soon meet Felix's elder brother, out for a little revenge after his brother hanged himself. Holding them all at gunpoint in a cabin in the grounds, the tension mounts as the injuries start increasing, and although there's nothing particularly special about the film, I actually quite enjoyed it. The music throughout the film is probably the biggest catalyst, and the fact that the whole film revolves around a game of truth or dare gone wrong does allow for this to come into play again later on.
When there is violence there's no real punches being pulled. Of particular note is using a hose and some hydrochloric acid as a slow death, brutal to watch and well acted in terms of reactions by the cast. David Oakes takes control as Felix's brother Justin, the prowess that has seen him land regular roles in British dramas shining forth among the relative inexperience of the others. However, I felt the others had the knack of playing Uni students down to a T, and when they're required to be frightened, they really show it well.
You get the odd moment when the special effects don't quite go to plan, or a slight faux pas in the acting reminds you it's a film and not real, but generally I find that British horror films of this sort of ilk resonate well with me, and this was no exception. You're not going to get brilliance from this one by any means, but it flows well and the timing is done very well indeed.
To tackle the genre naming, it's probably more of a cross between a thriller and a horror, to be honest. The level of violence and the fear factor in being held captive in a dark cabin with a psychopath brandishing a gun and a vat of acid is enough to induce this, but the tension and a few plot twists almost make it more like a thriller. Unlike the Saw films where the violence and torture clearly define it as a horror above a thriller, this film doesn't accede to these levels of violence and so the tension shines through a little more.
Generally good and certainly worth a watch, Truth or Dare (apparently also called Truth or Die) makes well of a relatively unknown cast of young actors. Good flow, keeps your expectations realistic and don't expect the best horror thriller you've ever seen and you should enjoy it.