Lame horror thriller struggles to make sense, let alone provide scares

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There was never much to Truth or Dare, the childhood game that at most resulted in the reveal of a crush or at best an unexpected make out session. So you can imagine the strain on filmmakers to take the game’s thin premise — either answer a question truthfully or perform a dare — and flip it into a horror movie. They might have had better luck with Seven Minutes in Heaven.

“Truth or Dare” stars Lucy Hale of “Pretty Little Liars” as Olivia, leader of a group of dim-witted college kids who head to Mexico to party on Spring Break. At a bar one night, they come across a stranger who invites them to a bangin’ after party in an abandoned Mexican cathedral. Sounds fun, what could go wrong?

The stranger leads them in a game of Truth or Dare that’s more twisted than he leads on. Turns out he’s been cursed (classic Mexico, am I right?) and must get others to play a deadly game of Truth or Dare where if you don’t follow the game’s rules, you die. Not only that, but there’s an added supernatural twist that results in the player having visions of those around them wearing cartoonish Joker-like smiles on their faces — aptly described by one member of the group as resembling “a messed-up Snapchat filter” — while egging them on in the game.

“Truth or Dare” is basically “Final Destination” or “I Know What You Did Last Summer” or any other teen horror movie where generic pretty characters get knocked off one-by-one, but at least those movies had a through line that made sense. “Truth or Dare” is foolish to the point of incoherence. Don’t get played.

agraham@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2284

‘Truth or Dare’

GRADE: D

Rated PG-13 for violence and disturbing content, alcohol abuse, some sexuality, language and thematic material

Running time: 100 minutes

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