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Review: Giles Alderson’s “The Dare”

The Horror Collective is proud to release The Dare to VOD and digital platforms on March 3rd 2020. A collaboration between Millennium Media, B2Y Productions, Nuboyana Film Studios and Jupiter Lights Pictures, The Dare finds four strangers forced to relive a cruel game at the hands of a deranged murderer years after a childhood prank went terribly wrong. Co-written by Giles Alderson and Jonny Grant, and directed by Alderson, The Dare stars Bart Edwards (The Witcher), Richard Brake (Rob Zombie’s 31, 3 From Hell), Richard Short (American Horror Story), Alexandra Evans, Robert Maaser, Harry Jarvis, Devora Wilde and Emily Haigh. Despite this film being a suspenseful and calculated mixture of Saw, Prom Night and People Under the Stairs, it just didn’t manage to strike a cord with me outside of that. Still, here are my thoughts having gotten a chance to watch it in full.

The Dare was produced by Julian Kostov, and finds cinematography by Andrew Rodger and editing by Oliver Parker. Besides some audio issues, which may or may not have been a problem with my screener, The Dare was envisioned and brought to life as a high caliber production. I love the way it felt raw and emotional and dirty and hopeless while also encompassing all the horror elements people love. The style of film-making accurately matched the mood and the story, which successfully conveyed a major sense of suspense and claustrophobia. The scores, special effects, acting, angles and pacing were truly on point during principal photography and I didn’t catch any errors during post production editing either. If anything, The Dare reads like two stories in one, highlighted by a twisted and talented cast and crew. So, you definitely get more for your dollar.

And, honestly, any horror film that manages to incorporate children into the mix gets an added bonus. Minors under the age of sixteen are off limits, and you can literally feel your heart beating out of your chest whenever one is in danger. I’m not going to spoiler how kids fit into the overarching plot here, but it does add more suspense, emotion and psychological tension to your experience. With a modest body count, a hot secondary killer (except for the mask), a lot of iconic horror homages, I don’t know why my interest in this title waned. Maybe I was wanting more, even though the director gave me everything the materials promised? Maybe I was pining for a different outcome? Whatever the case may be, The Dare just didn’t strike a cord with me personally, probably due to the fact that it felt like they weren’t trying hard enough to push the envelope.

The Dare is a great movie, especially if you enjoy psychological horror. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. Still didn’t hate it, though! Final Score: 7 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)