Truth or Dare (2013) Review


tod1TRUTH OR DARE (USA 2013)

Dir – Jessica Cameron

Starring- Jessica Cameron, Ryan Kiser, Heather Dorff, Shelby Stehlin, Devanny Pinn

The internet has led a revolution in bringing the unseen, graphic and disturbing to our screens, whether it be through the grim Two Girls One Cup video, or the most recent and graphic video for the band Cattle Decapitations’ song Forced Gender Reassignment (note- If you Google any of these then I am not responsible for what you may see), it’s a form of technology that allows us to access material that would never see the light of day on DVD. It’s ironic that in the 30th anniversary of the video recording acts that full uncut versions of films that spawned that act, the so called video nasties, are up on YouTube. It’s relevant then that TRUTH OR DARE looks at excess, shock and the difference between what is real and unreal in the internet world, along with a slight swipe at those seeking internet fame, though admittedly it brings this about in a less than subtle fashion.

A group of friends, who are running an online video group called the ‘Truth or Daredevils’, publish their video which purports to show a real shooting. Once the video has gone viral and scored many hits, they become famous, and whilst milking this fame on a talk show they reveal that the person who was shot, wasn’t actually killed at all and he makes an appearance as well, to reveal he was in on it. They are confronted on the same talk show, by their biggest fan who isn’t happy that the film was faked, but his rant is cut short when he is chucked out by security. The group decide to head to an out of bounds location to shoot there next stunt, but before they can go ahead with it, the same crazed fan from before turns up at the house, armed and wanting to make his own truth or dare video, proudly announcing that he is the new member of the group, but taking charge and forcing the group, at gunpoint to carry out a new game. Once it starts, with a few truths that reveal uncomfortable facts about certain members of the group, to then going into dares which become increasingly sadistic, leading the group to try and figure out a way around there un-welcome new member who is running the show to a more disturbing level.

tod2First of all TRUTH OR DARE is certainly extreme, it doesn’t relent the graphic acts it depicts and it does become a slight ordeal to watch, especially in the final part of the film, where the dares become more aggressive and painful to view. Even I, found one scene involving a bottle, quite hard to stomach and felt very queasy during it, and in the Grimm screening there were a few walkouts. Though I can respect Cameron for doing this as the violent dares which are carried out play into the madman’s ideology of creating something real. The character of the crazed fan (brilliantly played by Ryan Kiser) is a product of twisted ideology, and the need to see something online that isn’t a fake. There’s a great scene where Kiser’s character starts to get very angry at the YouTube user comments, saying that what they’re seeing is a fake, as they are shattering his psychotic need for realism, and even in this scene there’s a sly dig at people on the internet looking for something graphic to be real, and not differentiating between reality and fiction, even though the truth or daredevil group are being tortured online, and the YouTube hits are increasing, the internet users are still none the wiser.

At the heart of the film though is a nice commentary on the pointlessness and selfish rise of internet fame for doing nothing of merit, where the truth or daredevils become famous for faking a shooting, or doing something stupid, they bask in the brief rise of fame which they receive. You can go on YouTube and see any short daredevil clip where people are doing something daring to eventually achieve a mass rise in hits to their video. Even on the E4 channel there is a compilation programme called RUDETUBE, which lists these pranks or stunts in popularity. Admittedly the acting at first is a bit ropey and some of the characters in the daredevils group come off as slightly annoying, and during some of the ‘truths’ certain confessions come out that make you wonder whether it’s worth rooting for them or wait to see what happens to them. Yet by the end you end up rooting for some of them, as they are slowly torn apart by their online show and there psychotic new member.

tod3Admittedly I went into TRUTH OR DARE knowing it was going to be gruesome, but left not expecting it to be as graphic as it turned out to be. Speaking to other people about the film, some liked it, some didn’t, it was a divisive film in the long run, and that can be a good thing, it at least gets people talking. I know some would have found the upfront brutality and dodgy acting too much to take. I feel that, yes it is excessive, but there are reasons behind the bloodshed, and in the end the film comes off as an extreme balls out commentary on fame, online obsession and online real life violence versus fictional violence. Cameron, along with the Soska twins again are showing the horror genre that female directors are certainly just as equal as there male counterparts, and it’s to her credit that she has managed to make a film, that I found graphic and unsettling, yet also intelligent and smart.


GRIMMFEST 2014 – The FULL Schedule !!

GRIMMFEST-2014-FB-HEADERThe GRIMMFEST 2014 – The Full Schedule 

So it is almost upon us. Yes Grimmfest 2014 is nearly here and hopefully here you will find everything you need to know about what is showing and who will be appearing. Grimmfest is definitely for the fans and not only is it rammed full of films , also you will find directors & stars mixing with everyone else and having a great time.

If you can’t make it then remember to check out the UKHS site, Facebook page and Twitter feed for live updates , news, reviews and interviews .

If you are going – see you at the bar !!

Tuesday 30th September – Preview Night – Printworks Manchester

anmoes7pm – 7.14pm Tasha and Friends (2013)

Local children’s TV host Tasha decides to shut the show down, her puppet co-stars however have other ideas.


7.14pm – 8.45pm A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) 30th Anniversary Screening

Freddy Kruger’s original adventure in scream queen suburbia returns to the big screen for this special 30th Anniversary screening.

A group of teenagers are terrorized by “Freddy Krueger”, an evil being from another world who gets to his victims by entering their dreams and killing them with gloves that have knife blades attached to each finger.


babadook9pm – 9.13pm Let God Sort Them Out (2013)

French countryside, 1975. A family is about to sit down for dinner, unaware that the Great Purge has begun.


9.13pm – 10.43 The Babadook (2014)

A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.“the effectiveness of the tension built by Kent along with the terrific performances by Davis and Wiseman is chilling, heartbreaking and utterly terrifying. The Babadook is edge of your seat stuff and it will keep on you on that edge until the final credits roll. Not just one of the best horror movies of 2014, but one of the best movies of the period.


Thursday 2nd October – Grimmfest Fringe – Gorilla, Manchester

HouseEnd-NewPoster-Web10.30am – 12.10pm The House At The End Of Time (2013)

This film successfully combines full-blooded Latin American Gothic melodrama, old-school haunted house chills and an emotionally and psychologically detailed study of maternal instinct and courage, in a complex, intricately constructed time slip narrative which is as much about personal trauma, the various “ghosts” of memory, and the need for closure, as it is about the supernatural. “A patient, reflective work that’s less concerned with ghosts than with how we haunt ourselves…”


Truth-or-dare (1)12.20pm – 1.49pm Truth Or Dare (2013)

Six college kids become internet celebrities when their “Truth or Dare” video, purporting to show a real shooting goes viral. Milking their notoriety on a talk show, they find themselves confronted with their biggest fan – who is less than impressed by the fact that the video was faked, and soon turns up at the location for their next stunt, with disturbing ideas about what they can do to take their project to a whole new level…


she1.50pm – 2.04pm She (2014)

SHE and HE were once lovers but are now trapped in a stale and silent relationship. Physically locked indoors with no comfort or conversation, SHE has increasingly become little more than a plaything and slave, but things are about to change drastically. Plotting a final anniversary dinner, SHE finally takes revenge on her selfish and demanding partner with a gruesome act that will leave just as many scars on her as it does on him.


Julia-poster2.30pm – 4.05pm (2014) Julia

Following a brutal gang rape, timid clinician Julia Shames undergoes a radical new form of therapy to attempt to overcome her overpowering sense of trauma and to rebuild her life. But the therapy unleashes a repressed side of her personality: one which refuses to be a victim, one which encourages her to fight back remorselessly against those who have abused her…
A neon-saturated, giallo-tinged, neo-noir feminist vigilante thriller which harks back to classic genre exploiters of the seventies; but with a cool, elegant style, and a sense of genre self-awareness all its own.


THE-WELL4.30pm – 6.05pm (2014) The Well

Marking the feature film writing and directing debut of production designer Thomas S. Hammock, best known for his work with Adam Wingard on YOU’RE NEXT, THE GUEST, and the V/H/S movies, this visually-striking
post-apocalyptic Western, is a far cry from the lo-fi, mumblecore-influenced aesthetic of such films.
Drawing on the infamous Johnson County War for its narrative of struggling tenant farmers fending off Company thugs, it combines an emotive coming-of-age drama with a stark and stripped-down tale of bloody revenge.
“Apocalyptic nightmare The Well doesn’t need a gimmick – It’s as brutal and beautiful as genre flicks get…”


Thursday 2nd October – Grimmfest Gala Night – The Dancehouse, Manchester

Herd-milkposter-27pm – 8pm The Herd (2014)  + Cast Q&A

Numerous women locked away in inhuman squalor; all of them enslaved, abused, continually impregnated – Paula has been reduced to a mere resource; a provider of milk…
THE HERD has clear-eyed and confrontational purpose in its extremity. By inflicting the life of the average dairy cow on to a group of human women; stripping them of the most basic rights, it calls into question both the fragile nature of those rights and the assumptions that go with them, and, most damningly of all, the ways in which we regard other sentient creatures as lesser than ourselves, and thus as having no rights at all…


letuspreycover8pm – 10pm Let Us Prey (2014) + Q&A

Rookie cop Rachel Heggie begins her first night shift in a near-deserted police station in a dead-end Scottish backwater town. She’s expecting a quiet time of it. But the arrival of a mysterious stranger who seems to know way too much about the building’s inhabitants, and none of it good, proves the catalyst for a night of confrontation and carnage…
Some narrative scenarios are simply infallible. A deserted police station, the sudden intrusion of a stranger and all hell following after. Howard Hawks liked the set up so much, he used it several times, in RIO BRAVO, EL DORADO and RIO LOBO. Now here it is again, with a new spin from debut director Brian O’Malley, who knows his horror tropes and archetypes well; he plays with them, and the viewers, like a cat with a mouse.


suburbangaothic10.10pm – 11.40 Suburban Gothic (2014)

The title tells you all you need to know: Richard Bates, Jr’s eagerly-awaited follow-up to the brutal and blackly comic EXCISION, sees him again splicing sarcastic suburban satire with shocks and splatter, in grim(m)ly hilarious fashion. Again making great use of an all- (cult) star cast, and even finding space for a brief cameo from Bates’ fellow horror mavericks, the Soska Twins. This is, perhaps, less twisted than its predecessor with amplification of the humour over horror – yet it shows the same dark wit and panache.


Friday 3rd October – Grimmfest Fringe – Printworks, Manchester 

devilsmile10.30am – 11.58am Devil’s Mile (2014)

Starting out as a sweaty, seedy, mean-spirited desert road noir, the film quickly veers off into increasingly supernatural and existential territory, as the Devil’s Mile turns out to be just that. A smart, sharply written take on The Road To Hell scenario, this boasts some genuinely unexpected and downright nasty plot twists before a punch line that is both brutal and darkly satisfying. It’s a film the Dimestore Dostoevsky himself, Jim Thompson, would have been proud of.


LFO_official_poster-716x102412.15pm – 1.45pm LFO (2013)

Robert is a man who realizes he can hypnotize with sound; he begins to abuse his power, manipulating and controlling the minds of others.Eventually, the consequences for mankind prove too severe.This mordantly funny, pitch-black comedy offers a sharp and surprisingly moving exploration of the unintentional rise to power of a petty control freak, whose only real desire is to turn back the clock on his own life.


william_zero2pm – 3.38pm Reconstruction Of William Zero (2014)

This film is less about cloning than it is about identity and what makes us human, and more about the psychopathology that grief can sometimes trigger.
Powerfully acted and emotionally engaging; trusting the intelligence of the viewer by not always spelling  things out, it offers a gripping thriller narrative full of  logical, yet entirely unexpected plot twists, and delves into some dark places.


sororal-e14094754586863.50pm – 5.26pm Sororal (2014)

Cassie is tormented by visions of murder. Terrifying images flood her dreams and attack her waking hours. Her dreams are her curse and keep her isolated from the everyday world. Cassie’s life is thrown into disarray when a mysterious detective comes to her with a bombshell: He tells her that her visions are depictions of real murders, murders that she couldn’t possibly have seen. Cassie’s pain now has a face, and she must stop the killing at all costs. The twisted, childlike killer targets Cassie’s loved ones, and the race is on to stop her. Cassie is thrown together with her former lover as they scramble towards a shocking revelation that will change everything.


Friday 3rd October – Grimmfest Main Screen – The Dancehouse, Manchester

GOBLIN-WEB8pm – 9.30pm Suspiria (1977) – with LIVE score from Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin

A young American newcomer at an exclusive European ballet school finds herself caught up in a series of
increasingly violent, bizarre, seemingly supernatural murders…
Argento’s characteristic favouring of flamboyant visual flourishes and startling set-pieces over narrative
cohesion and characterisation here moves him into pure abstraction; an experiment in rhythm, movement and

Italian 70’s progressive rock legends CLAUDIO SIMONETTI’S GOBLIN performing a LIVE score to Dario Argento’s horror classic SUSPIRIA. This truly unique event will take place at The Dancehouse, in Manchester, on Friday 3rd October. ‘we are delighted to be hosting this immersive screening of SUSPIRIA, at this truely apt venue’.


Dawn_of_the_dead10pm – 11.56pm Dawn Of The Dead (1978) The Dario Argento Cut

Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

To tie in with our special presentation of SUSPIRIA with a live performance of the score by Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin, we are screening the Dario-Argento-prepared European cut of DAWN OF THE DEAD, for which Goblin provided the classic soundtrack.


Saturday 4th October – Main Screen – The Dancehouse, Manchester

split111am – 12.24pm Short Film Showcase

The Visitant (2014)

Don’t Play With The Food (2014)

Split (2014)

The Stomach (2014)

Vomica (2014)

All I Know Is Nothing (2014)

Autumn Harvest (2014)


theforgotten-clem12.40pm – 2.25pm The Forgotten (2014) + Q&A

Following his mother’s nervous breakdown, teenager Tommy is sent to live with his estranged father in a tower block squat on a run-down estate. But the father has serious problems of his own, and having to care for his alienated son only adds to them. And then Tommy’s sleep starts to be disturbed by mysterious noises coming from the boarded-up flat next-door. One morning, he awakes to find his bed moved right across the room. Is his increasingly unstable father to blame, or is there something else?


Housebound2.50pm – 4.49pm Housebound (2014)

Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. However, when she too becomes privy to unsettling whispers & strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she’s inherited her overactive imagination, or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who’s less than happy about the new living arrangement.
Recalling the gleefully gory and riotously funny early films of fellow Kiwi Peter Jackson, this outrageous fusion of splatter, slapstick, salty dialogue and droll EC-Comic-style chills is a real winner.


solitudo4.40pm – 4.51pm Solitudo (2014)

The directorial debut of writer/actress Alice Lowe (SIGHTSEERS; GARTH MARENGHI’S DARKPLACE), SOLITUDO is an austere tale of a nun in isolation at a rural convent who is terrorized by an encroaching darkness… that may be coming from within.



coherence-poster5.40pm – 7.10pm Coherence (2013)

On the night of an astronomical anomaly, eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of reality bending events. Part cerebral sci-fi and part relationship drama, COHERENCE is a tightly focused, intimately shot film that quickly ratchets up with tension and mystery.

‘Coherence builds cosmic-scale ideas from small-scale dramas, and slowly opens its narrative door to let in all manner of puzzles and paradoxes that will have viewers in knots for days if not forever. Think of it as Primer (2004) with soul, or Triangle (2009) with dinner parties (and ketamine!)’


What_We_Do_in_the_Shadows_poster7.30pm – 9pm What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

Viago, Vladislav and Deacon are three vampires currently based in the quiet suburb of Te Viago in Wellington NZ. They are finding it difficult to adjust to life in the 21st century, since their aversion to the sunny New Zealand weather pretty much confines them to their home. A fly on the wall documentary captures the trials and tribulations of their undead existence…


starry-eyes-poster-jay_shaw 9.10pm – 10.50pm Starry Eyes (2014)

Welcome to Hollywood, where every coffee shop waitress is a budding star just waiting to be discovered. But young hopeful Sarah Walker is as tired of waiting as she is of waitressing; all those endless, fruitless casting calls. And then, following a series of increasingly bizarre auditions for the shadowy Astraeous Pictures, she is offered what seems to be a dream part. But as she discovers the full requirements of the role, that particular dream starts to turn into a nightmare…


zombeaverscover11.20pm – 12.45am Zombeavers (2014)

ZOMBEAVERS is an action-packed horror/comedy in which a group of college kids staying at a riverside cabin are menaced by a swarm of deadly zombie beavers. A weekend of sex and debauchery soon turns gruesome as the beavers close in on the kids. Riding the line between scary, sexy and funny, the kids are soon fighting for their lives in a desperate attempt to fend off the hoard of beavers that attack them in and around their cabin.


Sunday 5th October – Fringe – Gorilla, Manchester

opengrave10.20am – 12pm Open Grave (2013)

A man wakes up in the wilderness, in a pit full of dead bodies, with no memory and must determine if the murderer is one of the strangers who rescued him, or if he himself is the killer.
“With top-drawer production values, especially the make-up effects, great sound design, music, and tight editing. All contribute to building this eerie world, with its carnage, cacophony of screams, and strong feeling of foreboding. The added isolation of the wilderness location is perfect.“


Sunday 5th October – Main Screen – The Dancehouse, Manchester

dead-snow-212.20pm – 2pm Dead Snow 2 – Red vs Dead

If the worst day of your life consisted of accidentally killing your girlfriend with an axe, chain-sawing your own arm off, and watching in horror as your closest friends were devoured by a zombified Nazi battalion, you’d have to assume that things couldn’t get much worse. In Martin’s case, that was only the beginning…
“I really had an absolute blast with DEAD SNOW: RED VS DEAD and any zombie aficionado is going to have a field
day. I’d even go so far as to say it’s the best zom-com since SHAUN OF THE DEAD (which remains the champ).
It’s pretty tough not to like a movie where there’s a human/zombie love scene set to Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. This is definitely one to keep an eye out for”.


get_some_xlg-691x10242pm – 2.16pm Get Some (2014)

After a viral pandemic takes its grip on the planet turning humans into flesh craving mutants, TV adventurer Hunter Smith fights back by presenting Get Some, a show in which he tracks and kills the infected for the entertainment of the surviving population.



life-after-beth2.30pm – 4pm Life After Beth (2014)

A young man’s recently deceased girlfriend mysteriously returns from the dead, but he slowly realizes she is not the way he remembered her.

“This is a touching, frequently hilarious film about grief, loss, and moving on….if you’ve always fantasized about having a sexy undead girlfriend with super-strength, bad breath, and a love of smooth jazz then you’ll love Life After Beth..“


samuria-537x10244.20pm – 5.40pm The Samurai (2014)

A wolf strives through the woods around an isolated German village. Jakob the young local police officer is onto him, but scents something more in the darkness. What he finds is a man, it seems, wild eyed, of wiry build, in a dress. He carries a katana, a Samurai sword. When the Samurai invites Jakob to follow him on his crusade towards the village, it becomes Jakob’s mission to pursue the lunatic to end this wanton destruction. At the end of the night Jakob has experienced too much, is too far from whom he once was. Something hidden has been unleashed to meet the first rays of daylight.


wolfcop6.20pm – 7.40pm Wolfcop (2014)

As a series of strange and violent events start happening, an alcoholic policeman realizes that he has been turned into a werewolf as part of a larger plan, so he investigates with the help of his partner and his friend.
“You will laugh out loud and see some cool werewolf transformations and bloody battle scenes. This is a movie that knows exactly what it is and is basically winking at the audience the entire time. If you enjoy a horror-comedy that’s just out for a laugh and never takes itself too seriously, you’ll enjoy WolfCop.“


thecanalposterlarge-690x10248pm – 9.50pm The Canal (2014) + Q&A

Film Archivist David Williams and his wife and son move into a beautiful old house by the side of a canal, but the house has a dark history, as David discovers. While restoring some early film footage, he discovers that his new home was the site of a shocking murder. In 1902, a man named William Jackson killed his wife and children because he believed his wife was unfaithful. And David has just started to suspect that his own wife is having an affair. Before long, he starts to have disturbing visions, to suspect that something is haunting the house. Something from the past, that is trying to influence the present…


So there you have it. Another wonderful line-up and there are a few tickets left for the full weekend as well as day tickets. Goblin is SOLD OUT but if you get a full weekend pass you will be able to get to see that too.

Tickets are available HERE