I’m not sure when I first learned of this film, but I’ve been looking for a copy of it ever since. Every so often, I’d search a couple of the usual spots for a new home video release — Amazon, eBay — to no avail. The thought never came to me to just go straight to the source, the director herself! After years of waiting, I’ve finally had the pleasure of watching Jessica Cameron’s Truth or Dare.
A group of friends are on a quest to become YouTube stars with their extreme game show version of truth or dare. They aren’t prepared, however, when their number one fan proves to be a psycho with his own violent brand of the famous game in mind. With their darkest secrets being revealed, truth has become almost as bad as any dare…
Every time I throw on an independent horror movie, I hold my breath in anticipation, waiting to see what exactly I’m walking into. I’ve seen films of every caliber, from multi-million dollar features to straight-to-YouTube backyard productions. Fortunately for me, I was able to let out a sigh of relief within a few short seconds of pressing play. Truth or Dare is an independent film, yes, but it is of higher quality than most.
I was only previously familiar with a couple of the names attached to Truth or Dare, so, for the most part, all of the faces on screen were new to me. Even still, I was greatly impressed by all parties involved. The entire cast delivered top-notch performances and while it is very difficult to pick my favorite of the bunch, I think I have to go with a tie between Ryan Kiser and Brandon Van Vliet.
Vliet as Tony, a member of the Truth or Daredevils team, succeeded in bringing some comedic relief to an otherwise very serious situation. Kiser on the other hand played the perfect lunatic. He was as giddy as a schoolgirl as he forced the group of friends to do some of the most heinous things I’ve ever seen.
The young actor has a very distinct look to him and I couldn’t help but think to myself that he would be perfect as a young Charles Manson. Upon further inspection of his previous work, lo and behold, the man has in fact played that very role in a film entitled House of Manson… Man, am I good.
Truth or Dare is as brutal and extreme as I had hoped for. Years of anticipation is hard to overcome, but Jessica Cameron proved to me that she is the filmmaker for just that type of job. I am highly impressed with what she put her actors through for the sake of creating an effective horror film. Each truth that is revealed throughout the film’s 84 minute runtime is just as shocking as the dares that psychotic Derik (Kiser) forces upon his victims.
Acting as both co-writer and director on this film, Cameron has put to rest, without a doubt, the notion that horror, more specifically, extreme horror is a boys club.
Truth is Dare is not for everyone; It is ruthless and unrelenting, but it is wonderfully acted, well scripted, features all practical effects, and is much more pristine than most of its low-budget peers. Do yourself a favor, skip the Blumhouse flick of the same name, skip the other dozen films of the same name, and go straight for Cameron’s indie work of bloody art. After all, there is a reason the film has won 34 awards in various categories!
I give this one 4 Deriks with a K out of 5!