Truth or Dare (2017)
No, not the 2018 Blumhouse thriller. This gem is a lot closer to Saw.
A group of teens lock themselves in a house on Halloween to play truth or dare, but it turns out the game plays them instead. They have to do things like put their hands on a stove or eat human flesh, or they’ll die. The film’s decision to move on from that time and location might be the worst choice the film makes. Creativity can best be found in limits, making it abundantly clear that that’s a quality these filmmakers lack.
Friend Request (2016)
It’s the classic story of the nice protagonist who takes pity on a loner, except it turns out the loner is a witch (that’s not a spoiler, it’s in the trailer).
The film uses Facebook as a catalyst for its horror, but it never really connects to the plot outside of people using Facebook. The characters are uninspired and dull, leaving all of us to wonder what it was about this story that excited anyone. My biggest question: if someone is haunting you through Facebook, why not just delete the app and stop using it entirely? Let the thing run its course.
Recommended for you: The Art of the Social Media Thriller; Narcissism, Paranoia and Tools for Good or Ill
Imagine if Siri was a malevolent guy in a bowtie who could manifest physically in the world. That’s the premise of Bedeviled, a film that can best be summarized as a poor attempt to say “social media and phones are dangerous”.
This might be the best looking movie on the list, but the acting is mediocre. You barely get the impression that this group of friends are that close, your only clue is that they hang out a lot. “She wasn’t in gym last week, and I texted her and she didn’t reply,” a girl says about her best friend. That’s just a taste of the clunky dialogue. Almost every scene contains on-the-nose exposition just in case the audience can’t quite follow along with the complicated premise of an evil app that kills people.
Truth or Dare (2018)
Yes, it’s the 2018 Blumhouse thriller.
This movie based on a middle school party game sends its protagonists to Mexico to get them playing. They return home, only to realize that the game plays them instead (“We’re not playing the game, it’s playing us” is a direct quote). Truth or dare action is signalled visually by a character’s mouth unnaturally forming into a wide smile while they tilt their head downward, which isn’t as creepy as the filmmakers seem to think.