Oh, dear. Now that’s just … creepy.
When a rictus grin distorts the faces of the characters in “Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare,” it’s demonic possession time, and death will shortly start swinging his scythe.
And so it comes to pass in a movie in the mold such horror franchises as “Final Destination” and “The Ring”: A group of young people falls prey to an occult curse that knocks them off one by one. A pen in the eye, a neck-snapping fall from a pool table are the nature of the chain of less than imaginative demises dreamed up by veritable platoon of credited screenwriters.
With that many cooks messing about with the broth, it’s no wonder there is a certain lack of consistency and definition in the final product.
Under the direction of Jeff Wadlow (“Kick-Ass 2”), the pacing is haphazard. There is a lot of frantic running up and down stairs and a great many static scenes of faces peering into laptop screens to seek online clues to the nature of the curse. In one very long sequence, two of the group query an elderly Mexican lady about the origins of the ills befalling them.
Unintentionally funniest moment: a scene in which the young folks frantically scamper around a house lugging a mattress in hopes of breaking the fall of a girl teetering drunkenly and precariously on a roof. Run here! No, there! This way! You get the picture.
The whole business starts when the group makes a nighttime visit to a spooky old church in Mexico during a spring break trip and, well, they ought not to have gone there.
As the title indicates, the proximate cause of their perils is a game of truth or dare that they are tricked into playing, to their everlasting but relatively brief regret.
Truths told include a girl confessing she secretly covets the boyfriend of her best friend, and a fellow coming out of the closet to his strict police officer father.
The rules: Tell the truth or you die. Do the dare or you die.
Watch this movie and you might die, of boredom.
Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare
☆ 1/2 stars out of 4
Cast: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Hayden Szeto, Landon Liboiron.
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Running time: 1:40
Rated: PG-13 for violence and disturbing content, alcohol abuse, some sexuality, language and thematic material.