As horror movies and games fans, we love movies with a murderous twist based on some social game. It could be a movie based on hide-and-seek (“Ready Or Not”), a “find the killer” game (like the intriguing “Bodies, Bodies, Bodies” from 2022), the party game “Would You Rather” (which got a horror movie of the same name ), and of course also a lot of films based on computer games, escape rooms, etc. In the following review, we will present horror movies and scenes that correspond with “Truth or Dare” and try to understand why this beloved game has the potential to be great fun.
What’s So Scary On Truth Or Dare?
The first question that needs to be asked, even before talking about the Truth or Dare horror movie, is what elements of this beloved game allow creating the atmosphere of horror and develop into a scary plot.
If you haven’t lived in this world in the past decades, in the standard Truth or Dare game, you sit in a circle and spin a bottle (we know versions with other improvised items because sometimes it’s hard to find a bottle). The participant which the bottle cap points to, must choose between “truth” (he must honestly answer a question) or “must” (he has to perform a task, often embarrassing or daring.) This game has a strong connection with hormones: As a result, teenage boys and girls love it. And yes, it’s going great with alcohol.
From this relatively short review, one can perhaps learn why horror films can adopt the “Truth or Dare” game. The game has a fearsome reputation for several reasons. First, it is based on discovering the truth and exposing different sides, even dark ones, which are not necessarily known about a particular participant. The theme of discovering the truth is a central feature of horror and suspense films, as happens, for example, in the scene where they find out exactly who the person in the room is behind the murderous game.
In the “daring” sector, it is easy to think of strange, morbid, or murderous tasks, as in some films we will review here soon. The movie may include breaking taboos, breaking boundaries, acts of violence, and some sex. Many horror films include teenagers or young adults – as mentioned, the target audience of social games of this type – and therefore, the game can perform the dynamics, tensions, and balance of power between the players.
You can find more aspects of Truth Or Dare horror movie. Truth or Dare game expresses from its foundation issues such as social pressure, daring, leaving the comfort zone or anxiety, and common deaths in horror films. The uncertainty about the answer to the question, or even how the participant will deal with the task, can be a central part of the tension structure of these films. In most cases, the viewer may develop an expectation or be surprised, feelings that the filmmakers wish to attract in their direction.
Of course, you must recognize the movies in which supernatural elements are integrated into the game. Consider, for example, a murderous demon that takes over the characters or a game whose consequences are many months into the future.
How Many Truth Or Dare Movies Are There?
Not long ago, when we reviewed the second film in the “Escape Room” series, we criticized the lack of creativity of this film’s creators. We came across several horror films, some of them very insignificant, that called themselves “Escape Rooms.” In only a limited number of cases, a film based on the concept of an escape room has changed the name slightly (for example, “No Escape Room.”). That can’t be good when films can only be distinguished by their year of making, cast list, or poster.
In the case of Truth or Dare horror movies, unfortunately, the picture is quite similar. We would know of at least four films whose title is broad, “Truth or Dare,” even if some of them made minor changes in the name at some point.
Truth Or Dare / Bloomhouse’s Truth Or Dare (2018)
The most famous film – and the one that most people likely mean when they Google “Truth or Dare horror movie” – is the film with the same name from 2018. In most of the world, the film’s name is just “Truth or Dare.” Yet, In a certain way, the Blumhouse horror film production company added its name to the film. In other words, you can find it by the name “Blumhouse’s Truth Or Dare.”
The rather creative caption that appeared in the official poster of “Truth Or Dare” says: “You must see this movie.” It’s creative, to say at least, but is this accurate? It depends on who you ask. Critics killed this film, with only 15% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience didn’t love it either, pretty much, with a score of 5.2 on IMDB and 23% positive reviews on the same Rotten Tomatoes. Despite this, and some would say because of it, the film did well at the box office, with over $95 million worldwide on a measly budget of $3.5 million. In our opinion, the film is enjoyable even though it is full of flaws, so if you connect to movies from this category – it’s worth watching.
“Truth or Dare” is precisely what you would expect from a horror version of the game. An American girl (the stunning Lucy Hale from the disappointing “Fantasy Island”) goes on vacation in Mexico, where a mysterious guy persuades her and her friends to go to an abandoned church to play truth or dare. Unsurprisingly, that guy turns out to have evil plans. After several rounds of questions and tasks, he reveals the purpose for which he gathered them: a supernatural game of “Truth or Dare,” in which whoever does not perform a specific task will be killed. This game accompanies the young people even after the vacation is over, but the horror is just beginning. They are forced to commit horrible acts while dealing with a mysterious curse that makes people smile creepily.
If this sounds familiar to you from some horror movie called “Smile” that happened to be the biggest horror hit in 2022, it’s no accident. It’s hard to miss the resemblance, or some would say the inspiration that “Smile” drew, perhaps, from scenes of this kind. On the other hand, “Smile” also drew its inspiration from “The Ring,” “It Follows,” and a host of other movies, so maybe that doesn’t mean much.
Truth Or Dare (2012)
We continue our list of Truth Or Dare horror movies with a 2012 movie called once again “Truth or Dare.” However, to its credit, it was given the slightly more creative name of “Truth or Die” in the United States.
The idea in this Truth or Date movie is similar. The film begins at a party where at some point, a game of Truth or Dare begins, which causes some conflict. A few months later, the participants are invited to the mansion of a mysterious guy. So they find out what happened following that night and participate in a murderous Truth or Dare game whose goal is to find out who is responsible for… um… what happened after that event at the film’s beginning. The final result is also far from impressive, but it does the job for those who connect to movies such as those described in this article or like Truth Or Dare scenes.
Here is “Truth Or Dare” 2012 trailer:
Truth Or Dare (2013)
We continue to 2013 with the movie “Truth or Dare” (grrr!), which might be suitable to call “Jessica Cameron’s Truth or Dare.” The reason is that the Canadian Jessica Cameron, associated with many horror films you can hardly believe you have heard of, is the beating heart behind it. Cameron wrote the screenplay, produced the film, directed it, and stars in it as Jennifer, one of the six members of the Truth or Dare-Devils. The group members create YouTube videos that show Truth or Dare in extreme directions. At one point, a disillusioned team fan takes matters into his own hands and starts his murderous game of truth or dare with them.
We haven’t seen the movie yet, but let’s say we won’t be surprised if we find out at the end of the film that Jennifer herself is among the only survivors. After all, she wrote the script and wouldn’t want to kill herself. What’s more, it’s pretty challenging to produce a film where you direct yourself to act like you are getting killed.
Truth Or Dare (2017)
In 2017, another movie called – hold tight – “Truth or Dare” was released. This time, we encounter a group of eight college students who rent a haunted house (which will surely increase its price) on Halloween. According to local legend, this house has been haunted by the evil spirit of someone involved in a game of truth or dare for many years. The young people, who probably haven’t seen a horror movie since their days, decide to play the game. You can guess what happens next.
“Truth or Dare” Scenes In Horror Movies
Of course, a horror movie can include some reference to Truth or Dare games even if it’s not all about it, and believe it or not – even if its name isn’t “Truth or Dare.” Over the years, we’ve seen some truth or dare scenes in horror movies, even very successful ones. In some cases, these scenes contributed to the development of the film, produced some successful sequences, or included some important revelation about one of the characters.
Flirting With Wolves: The Cabin In The Woods Truth Or Dare Scene
“The Cabin In The Woods,” which appeared in our article of movies that take place in a dark forest, is one of the most acclaimed and successful horror movies of the 1990s. You may have already forgotten that the movie has a Truth or Dare scene that is a bit difficult to define: some will say it’s weird, others that it’s scary, and Some people might think it’s somehow sexy. In this scene, Jules (New Zealand actress Anna Hutchinson) is asked, during a Truth or Dare game, to make out with the stuffed wolf in the scary cabin the guys are staying in. She does it sensually, a little disturbing when the viewer doesn’t know whether to laugh, be shocked, or be afraid.
It is said, by the way, that the stuffed animal’s tongue was covered in sugar to make it look scarier and also to make it easier for the actress, who later described the kiss with the wolf as the best she had experienced in the movie she played in – Which is not a good sign about her career choices.
The Babysitter: When Kid’s Fantasy Becomes Horror Movie
Another Truth or Dare scene, this time one that leans more towards the hot but shocking side, is in the Netflix movie “The Babysitter” (which we included in our review of babysitting movies, another subgenre we like) in which a 12-year-old boy falls in love with his babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving) – until he finds out she’s part of a satanic cult that doesn’t shy away from murder. At the film’s beginning, when that boy is hiding in the closet to sneak around, he watches the babysitter and her friends play Truth or Dare. It starts super hot, with a lesbian kiss between the babysitter and the equal cheerleader (Allison, played by Bella Thorne). Later Bee, which is maybe bisexual, is challenged to kiss one of the boys in the group until she pulls out the daggers in the most successful “What The Fuck” moment in the film.
There are other horror movies with Truth or Dare scenes, usually around or after discovering the true nature of one of the characters. Without doing spoilers, you can see sets of this kind in “Better Watch Out” (another excellent babysitter movie), “The New Mutants” from the X MEN series (which straddles the seam between a comic book and a mini-horror film), the disappointing “The Final Girl” with Abigail Breslin – and the list goes on.
Sometimes, You Must Dare
“Truth or dare” games, by their very definition, give participants the right to choose (at least at some point). There are certain films, however, in which the emphasis is on “must” only, meaning: It’s somewhat like other types of Truth or Dare horror movie, but without the “Truth”. The clearest example of a franchise in which the characters willingly participate in a game in which they have to perform gruesome tasks is, of course, “Saw,” which takes it in particularly morbid directions: the films raise the question of what man will do to save himself or survive, including the gruesome choice of saving himself through killing others.
Another example is “13 Sins”, with the excellent Mike Webber, who plays a man in a complex financial situation who facilitates a mysterious phone call one evening, in which he gets the chance to participate in a sick game in which he must complete 13 tasks, at the end of which he will win a massive amount of money. Of course, as in any game, the degree of difficulty increases: if, at first, he has to kill a fly and eat it, then he will be asked to harass people, hurt them, and, of course, also murder.
“Truth or Dare” games are not the exclusive property of horror movies, as other genres also use them. The most obvious example is the movie “Nerve.” In this lovable thriller, starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, the characters participate in a reality game based on “Truth or Dare,” or “Dare.” They are forced to perform strange, dangerous, and extreme tasks while being watched at any given moment, with the winner – the one who performs the most extreme acts and gains the most followers – receiving the entire price.