As a rabid horror fan, I am always looking for a newer movie to watch, maybe something that I missed when it was released or something that went straight to VOD because of the pandemic. The Dare is yet another movie that I “put on for background noise,” but ended up on the edge of my seat, watching every minute of it with my undivided attention and hitting replay as soon as the end credits rolled. I’ve seen people complain that The Dare is just a Saw rip-off, and while I can definitely see the similarities, I found myself forgetting Saw and enjoying this fresh take on the torture porn sub-genre.
The movie starts out with Jay, a father of two young girls, getting ready to take off on a long business trip. While he is enjoying the last night of his family time, we become aware of a hulking figure lurking around outside. Not aware of this stranger, the family wraps up their playtime, when the mask wearing figure invades the house and kidnaps the dad. Jay wakes up chained to the wall in a grimy basement with three other people. While they get to know each other, learning bits and pieces of the story as we go and Jay is learning it’s futile to escape, we are treated to a series of flashbacks with a young man being abducted and abused by a cruel man named Credence played to perfection by Richard Brake. We flashback and forth between the past and present filling in the pieces to this puzzle of a movie. As the movie progresses, we learn that the people chained up in the basement are not strangers, but old friends who have a dark secret that binds them with their abductor.
The Dare was written and directed by Giles Anderson. This was also Giles first feature film and it does not show in the slightest. The cinematography was flawless; Shot in Sofia, Bulgaria, the forest scenes are amazing. If you are looking for some excellent non-linear story telling, then this is the movie for you. Like I said earlier, as soon as the credits rolled, I hit replay and watched it again and it was even more brutal this time around because I knew the story. The special effects make up was great, mostly practical and pretty gory. The whole cast did an amazing job on this film, but Richard Brake and Robert Maaser, the psycho child abuser and the hulking killer, respectively, are the real standouts in the cast.
I have a tendency to be an easy reviewer… meaning a movie has to be really bad for me to be negative. But I can honestly say I really loved this movie. Lots of twist and turns to keep you involved until the end. The only negative thing I can think of is the flashbacks in the story as it might confuse some people. This is currently available on Tubi. I bought the German Blu-ray media book which is totally uncut and slightly bloodier than the Tubi cut, but it’s still a great version to watch. I give it an A-.