Welcome to Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. In each episode I go with a different comedian to see a movie and then we head to the closest coffee shop to chat about it over the internet. Yes it is a podcast, you just have to read it instead of listen to it. As always, you can catch up on all the other episodes here. Even better, consider supporting the podcast by subscribing!
I met Yoni at AMC Empire 25, right in the pulsing heart of New York City’s very own Times Square. After riding too many escalators up and then watching this movie, we rode even more escalators down to escape. We clawed our way through the masses to settle in to the lovely St. Kilda Coffee on 44th St between 8th and 9th Ave to talk shop. Yoni got a green tea and I got a cortado but they called it something different that I forgot the name of.
Dan: Hi Yoni. Thank you so much for joining me today on Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast: The ONLY podcast you have to read. It’s rainy as heck, we’re in a coffee shop underneath Port Authority, and I only have one question for you: Truth or Dare?
Yoni: Oh wow. Okay. Hmmmmm…Truth.
Dan: I Truth You…to have a great time on this podcast!
Yoni: If I don’t do it, I’ll die. So I will have a good time.
Dan: Where to begin? I guess my first real question is: have you ever played Truth or Dare in real life?
Yoni: I have, multiple times! I remember being nervous to play ‘cause my “crush” was in the room. I have a feeling that this movie tried to emulate that sensation but it did not go a great job.
Dan: Do you remember any particular dares or truths that you had to do? I am asking these questions because it will provide our listeners context when we get into the meat of this movie.
Like for example, if you were ever dared to break your friend’s hand with a hammer it will provide a different lens for when we discuss the scene where Marky is dared to break Olivia’s hand with a hammer.
Yoni: It’s funny ‘cause, as a kid, I loved doing dares. Still do. One of my strong suits is that I don’t really have any shame and I’m always down to “show people my butt” or whatever. But, admitting to truth…yikes.
But as I got older the truth and your relationship with truth is such an important part of growing up.
Dan: Totally. But at the same time, I actually think this movie would have been a lot scarier if the dares were to show people your butt. If that was the only dare just in different higher stakes situations.
Dan: Like first it’s in the boys locker room. Then afterwards it’s in math class.
Yoni: My god.
Dan: Next thing you know, you are on a NASA brand space ship.
Yoni: I’m shaking in my boots.
Dan: Broadcasting to millions as you are about to touchdown on Mars.
Yoni: Dan. Serious question: is there ONE person in this world that you would be too scared to show your butt to? Answer the question, Dan.
Dan: Wow. Hmm. I think if the Truth or Dare demon asked me to show my butt to like…a really famous butt model I would be self conscious. Ok yeah, maybe John Cena.
Dan: They show his butt a lot in Blockers and it’s powerful.
Yoni: I would not be afraid to show John Cena my butt. Or any famous models. #humblebrag
Dan: I think we can say one thing that this movie definitely succeeds in is: forcing us to ask the tough questions. Questions like: SHOULD we allow our nubile young college students to go to Mexico? IS there anything worse than your dad grilling swordfish steaks? DO all demons speak English? Or just Mexican ones?
Yoni: These are all question that I don’t need to answer, ever.
Dan: Exactly. Thanks to the fine folks at Blumhouse we finally have the canonical answer to all these and more. Okay, why don’t we start at the beginning. I am going to ask you to give me the elevator pitch for this movie. GO!
Yoni: A bunch of young “Bratz Doll” looking actors (even the guys), go to spring break and come back with a curse, a curse that has taken the shape of the classic sleepover game “Truth or Dare.”
Dan, before we dive in can I say something?
Dan: I’m listening…
Yoni: It’s amazing how many times this type of movie has been made. Throughout the film, you and I would lean in and say what’s about to happen. And then it would happen.
Dan: Right but we are geniuses.
Yoni: Baby Geniuses, maybe. But no we are not.
Dan: I mean, sure, this movie is basically Final Destination meets…what exactly?
Yoni: Like, every single person reading this knows exactly what’s going to happen in this movie. It is Final Destination Meets Final Destination 3.
Dan: Maybe it’s Final Destination meets….I’ll Be Home For Christmas (the Jonathan Taylor Thomas movie). Or Final Destination meets…Jumanji. That’s it. YOU HAVE TO PLAY BY THE GAME’S RULES OR THE JUNGLE WILL GET YOU!
Yoni: I cannot tell you how many times in this movie someone looked up from a laptop and said “Uh… guys. You’re gonna want to see this.”
Dan: Oh certainly, we’ll get to all the tricks, but I want to start at the beginning. Okay, from the top.
The movie opens with a crappy car driving crappily down a desert highway. It stops at a gas station that we can clearly see is, if not Mexican, then at least Mexican-adjacent.
This movie has…a complicated relationship with Mexico.
Yoni: Yes, we know this because it says “FRUTAS” on the sign. And yes, a lot of interesting Mexico references for no reason. I think they only used Mexico because it’s kind of close to LA. They drive out to Mexico 3 times in this movie.
Dan: They aren’t sending us their best, Yoni. Anyway, out of the car comes a distraught looking Bratz Doll in a hoodie who goes up to the attendant and asks for “cigarillos.” She is tweaked out and clearly scared!
We hear a demon voice ask her “Truth or Dare” and then she sets a lady on fire.
Yoni: Yes, and the lady who is Mexican shrieks. She just wanted to buy FRUTAS.
Dan: Here’s the (a?) weird part. After this cold open, the movie takes its sweet ass time getting us to the point where we get to play more Truth or Dare.
Yoni: Yes, but instead we get a lot of important exposition.
Dan: We have a very long series of scenes getting to know all our characters. I want to ask you if you can name them all without checking your notes.
Yoni: Amazing. I can.
Dan: Name them all and what their Personality Trait is…GO!
Yoni: Olivia, goody two shoes. Lucas, kind hearted but confused hunk.
Dan: Oh also, I want you to tell me how you know what their personality trait is.
Yoni: Okay I love this. Olivia, she is the goody two shoes and we know this because she’s applying for Habitat for Humanity via her YouTube channel?
Dan: Correct, and also she doesn’t want to go on spring break, she wants to build houses. Her other Personality Traits are: Brunette, White.
Yoni: Yes, her friend, Marky, (the bad girl because she cheats on her boyfriend) forces her to go by telling Habitat for Humanity that Olivia “has shingles” and cant “make it”. And then she makes a funny joke by saying “kind of ironic, ’cause roofs have shingles.“ I didn’t laugh.
Dan: That’s pretty good. Marky’s other Personality Traits are: Blonde, White.
Yoni: Yes. Lucas, is the dark, brooding hunk. We know this cause he is ALWAYS squinting
Dan: You also know Marky is bad because she wears chokers.
Yoni: Yes! Marky and Lucas are dating, by the way. Alright next: Ronnie. Hoo boy. Ron-dog the horn dog. He’s an ugly looking guy who loves to do shots and cat call women. We know this because he literally says “I never refuse shots.”
Dan: Correct Ronnie is Horny and does not know that there is a Movement going on. Also, Yoni. I think we should say this.
Yoni: Say it.
Dan: Disclaimer: we are BOTH jewish. That being said…
Yoni: YES. FINALLY.
Dan: Every guy in this movie has a SUSPICIOUSLY big nose. Like…
Yoni: It’s insane.
Dan: It was a choice.
Yoni: 100% without a doubt.
Dan: That is what an inclusion rider is for.
Yoni: Exactly. Like, you don’t cast SO MANY men with big noses by accident. There must have been one person on casting who was like: “They all have massively large noses.”
Dan: “The better to show off our hyper advanced Grin-tech special effects.”
Yoni: Exactly. I think it was easier to do “the face” with a large nose. They probably asked if they could “lower their faces” in the audition room.
Dan: Ok so we have Olivia, Marky, Lucas, Ronnie…who’s next?
Yoni: Oh, next is PENelope. I capitalize “PEN” because her boyfriend has a lucky pen. They refer to this pen multiple times letting us know that this “lucky” pen probably won’t be in Act 2.
Dan: Penelope’s Personality Traits are: Girlfriend, and Alcoholic.
Yoni: Yes. Oh my god Dan she pukes THROUGHOUT THE MOVIE.
Dan: Her secondary trait is: Brown. I point these secondary traits out for the women because all the guys are just white and brunette and have big noses.
Yoni: Wait, we need to talk about the barf. She barfs so many times.
Dan: That’s called making a choice as an actor. Oh and to be fair there is one non-white male character who is also Interesting because he is gay. Do you remember his name?\
Dan: That’s homophobic. To suggest all gay men are named Clark.
Dan: It’s Brad.
Yoni: I mean: Clark, Dean, Brad. It’s the same thing.
Dan: There is one more “main” character. Do you remember his Name and Trait?
Yoni: I don’t remember his name but he is the “naysayer.” Let me guess: Clark? Dean?
Dan: I feel like he is also the guy who would say “What kind of bitch drinks hazelnut coffee?!” like in the trailer we saw for the new comedy Tag, Based On A True Story.
Yoni: If you want more info on “Tag” go to #tagmovie. All true.
Dan: I think he name was Tyler or Tyson. So feel free to use either. He is also a…premed student and he fakes prescriptions.
Yoni: Yes. He is also Penelope’s boyfriend and he owns “the lucky pen.”
Dan: Ok, so after an incredibly slow sequence of scenes, we know all our friends and they set off to Mexico for Spring Break. Quick pause.
I want to say that I am NOT a “horror movie” guy. Not in any sense of the word. I don’t know if this movie is considered horror or more likely, a subgenre of horror called like “Rules Porn Slasher” or something.
The important thing is, I am not approaching this discussion as someone who like, cares about this genre at all. What about you?
Yoni: I am not a “horror” guy but I do love them. I think they are so fun and think it’s so impressive that a movie can scare people. With that said, this movie is NOT scary. Not the least bit.
Dan: I don’t know if I even agree with your initial supposition. Like, IS it impressive that movies can scare people? A raccoon can scare people.
Yoni: That’s a good point. Like, deadlines scare me.
Dan: There not being lights on in a place can scare people. This movie was Less Scary Than Lights Not Being On In A Place.
Yoni: 100%. I would go to this movie for comfort.
Dan: If I was in a place where the lights were off I would run, not walk, to this movie. To soothe my nerves.
Yoni: When can we talk about The Face? I want to talk about The Face.
Dan: We can’t talk about The Face until it shows up in the movie.
Yoni: Got it. Reader, keep reading.
Dan: Okay, so everyone is in Mexico for spring break.
Yoni: OH MY GOD THE MONTAGE.
Dan: OH WAIT. The montage. The opening credits that are after we meet all the characters is like, a social media montage. Snaps and instas and facetimes and…periscopes?
Yoni: Yes! I believe the hashtag #SoExcited comes on the screen at one point.
Dan: They don’t even DO anything with this device. Nothing gets creepy, there is no real foreshadowing, there is no exposition, there is nothing. It is, like most of this movie, just a way to take up time.
Yoni: This movie uses smartphones and laptops constantly.
Dan: That is true, but not in a “commentary” way.
Yoni: It’s just the way we are now. I wrote some quotes down:
“Is he tagged in the photo?”
“I got a facebook message from Giselle”
Dan: Yoni I also wrote down some quotes. And you skipped the best one…After the curse starts and they are all back in California…
“GOOGLE MEXICO TRUTH OR DARE”
Yoni: YES. Oh my god, when they were trying to figure out what was going on they Googled: Mexico Truth Or Dare.
Dan: Okay okay I’ll pick up the pace. So everyone is in Mexico and blah blah blah some guy is nice to Olivia and because she is a woman she just HAS to follow him everywhere.
Yoni: Wait! You have to set up that Marky is cheating on Lucas. She is literally hooking up with some rando behind Lucas on the dance floor, and Olivia sees this.
Dan: Oh right of course. Yes we learn this because she is making out on the dance floor 3 feet away from him.
Yoni: If Lucas didn’t know that she was being unfaithful, dude needs to get a clue.
Dan: A big throughline of this movie is that even when there curses and demons are real, nothing is more important than two women fighting over a man.
Yoni: YES! Another quote, is that in the middle of all of this mayhem with an old Mexican demon, Olivia says “We need to talk.”
Dan: It’s so good. Multiple times characters are like, pissed off at each other or concerned and they say things like “why are you acting so weird?!”
This is AFTER multiple other friends have died in horrific accidents. From magic. Mexican Demon Magic.
Yoni: Dan, If my best friends and I were dealing with a demon curse, I would be acting “so weird” and I would want my friends to be supportive. And vice versa.
Dan: For me, if Truth or Dare were real I would look at it as an opportunity to find out who my REAL friends are.
So the guy at the bar who was Nice To Olivia invites everyone out to an abandoned church to party.
Yoni: Deep in the hills. And they all use their iphones for lights (this is important).
Dan: The place is torn to shit and Olivia explores the basement and takes some snapchats of the fucked up Mexican church basement. She finds a little clay pot that “Smells Like Shit.”
Yoni: Literally she sniffs it and goes “YUCK!”
Dan: It is a little cracked pot with a Monster Energy style skull on the side and Ronnie looks at it and says it “SMELLS LIKE SHIT.”
Yoni: It’s like a candle from Hot Topic. Ronnie from the get go was gonna get got.
Dan: Annnnyway, if you think there was a demon in that pot, I DARE you to not jump to conclusions. Back upstairs, the guy from the bar tells everyone to play truth or dare. Everyone plays and they go around the circle doing cutesy things like making out and doing sexy dances.
Yoni: We should mention that the entire friend group initially did NOT want to come to this dude’s church. Olivia kind of peer pressured them cause she wanted to fuck this random guy.
Dan: The main important things we learn during this game are:
1) Olivia would rather save all of Mexico than her friends. She is asked if aliens were going to kill them all and then leave or kill all of Mexico but let them go, which would she choose?
2) Olivia is in love with Lucas. She is asked if she has a crush on Lucas. That’s about it.
Yoni: 3) Ronnie loves lesbians. (Ronnie dares Penelope to hook up with Olivia)
Dan: Eventually, mystery guy Carter from the Bar (sing this in J-Lo voice) tells them all the Truth! That he lured them all to this church to play this game and “the rules are real!”
If you don’t tell the truth you die. If you don’t do the dare you die. If you don’t pick one or the other, you die! And we’re off to the races!
Yoni: Olivia turns back to find her friends GONE but then they reappear immediately. So they fly back to LA? And they go back to school?
Dan: Not so fast hot shot. Before they all go back to LA, Olivia has a vision of all her friends surrounding her with Grin Face.
Yoni: YES. GRIN FACE. Okay, can I please talk about Grin Face?
Dan: And it is…so…incredibly…not creepy or scary. Let’s do it. It is so bad.
Yoni: It is so funny. It’s just… a face. I took the liberty to take as many “Grin Face” photos throughout the film. May I show them?
Dan: I feel like it’s a horror movie or at least a specific type of horror movie “thing” to have a like, iconic face.
Yoni: Yes. Scream had “ghost face.”
Dan: The the Scream mask. Jason’s hockey mask. Freddy. Even the purge has a specific face aesthetic. Happy Death Day.
Dan: What came first for this movie I wonder…the Truth or Dare pitch, or the Grin Face? Maybe they had two separate Great Ideas and combined them. You got Grin Face in my Truth or Dare! You got Truth or Dare in my Grin Face!
Yoni: I would love to have been a fly on the wall for when someone pitched “Grin Face.” Oh wait, there’s an actual quote in the movie when Olivia is describing Grin Face. She says: “It looked like a messed up Snapchat filter.”
Dan: I have to say, you’ve definitely taken the best notes out of every guest who has ever been on this podcast.
Yoni: Thank You, Dan. Like, she said that line. In a serious tone.
Dan: Ok, so the rest of this movie is basically: Trying to Solve the Curse whilst Surviving all the Truth or Dares. So many of these Truth or Dares are incredibly dumb and like there is no rhyme or reason to the stakes. They don’t even get particularly more dangerous as the movie goes on.
We’ll go through these one by one.
Yoni: I love this.
Dan: We learn very quickly that the curse will “make them play” in the same order that they played in Mexico.
Yoni: Rule #1. Well, I guess that’s like Rule #4.
Dan: The movie teaches us that Grin Face can strike anyone at any time and it will make you answer. It can take the shape of a friend, a coworker, even a spooky homeless guy.
Olivia is up first and she is surrounded by Grin Faced students at the library. She chooses truth and I literally don’t remember what the question is. Whatever it is, she shouts out “Marky is always cheating on Lucas!” or something to that effect. Maybe the question was, “is Marky always cheating on Lucas?”
Yoni: I don’t fucking know. Like, who cares?
Dan: As I said, this movie makes such a huge fucking deal out of this stupid love triangle. MULTIPLE magic demon truth questions are wasted to ask Lucas who he likes. One question is, “Lucas do you want to have sex with Olivia?”
Yoni: Imagine being that demon, and putting so much energy into “Do you have feelings for Lucas?”
Dan: Another time the demon asks “Lucas, who do you REALLY Love?”
Yoni: Yes, this demon is such fiend for hot goss.
Dan: Meanwhile poor beautiful gay Brad has to hold a gun to his father’s head and make him beg for his life.
Yoni: WAIT WHOA! That’s so much later.
Dan: Right but like, it’s the same demon. It asks Lucas who he has a crush on.
Yoni: Yes, but this is important. The demon makes Brad come out to his dad. It’s actually very nice and beautiful. The Demon dares Brad to come out, and he does, and is relieved.
Dan: Yeah there is maybe a message that telling the truth can be good? It will take a few more years before I finish my thesis on this movie so TBD.
Yoni: I think I remember leaning in and saying to you “So this demon is like… a nice thing?” But it’s so funny because Brad says something like “I was next, the demon dared me to come out to my dad and… I did and I feel great.”
Dan: Okay after Olivia yells in the library, Marky gets mad at her but at least now we know that Truth or Dare is real.
Yoni: Ronnie is next.
Dan: Yeah next up is Ronnie who gets dared to pull his dick out at the bar. He chickens out because he has a small dick and instead he gets possessed by Grin Face and suicides.
Yoni: Ok, here’s where I started snapping pics:
Dan: We learn that if you do NOT do your dare, Grin Face takes over you and you have to final destination yourself.
This is a Grin Face. It’s just a woman’s face.
Dan: I feel like they had a Grin Face budget, and they just underestimated how many they would need.
Yoni: So many people get “Grin Faced” in this movie.
Dan: Sometimes they are super stretchy CGI clayfaced and sometimes they just have like, a smiling woman from a higher camera angle. They clearly ran out of money for these. “Let’s take it again from the top and this time maybe grin harder! We’re losing daylight here people we gotta go fast!”
It is crazy that they did not get the Grin Face right in this movie. This movie is Grin Face.
Yoni: I wonder if extras were on set like “I hope I get Grin-Faced!”
Dan: Well Yoni you weren’t the only one snapping because some girl at the bar sends video of Ronnie suiciding himself to the rest of Our Heroes. They are all just sitting around…the…house that they all live in?
Yoni: Yeah, I couldn’t’ keep track of that rooming situation.
Dan: And they all get this video of Ronnie verbally explaining that “This girl dared me to show my dick!” And then jumping off a pool table…TO DEATH.
Yoni: I guess we’ll never know how big Ronnie’s cock was.
Dan: As usual, you just gotta wait for the Blu Ray. So Olivia puts two and two together and tries to explain that Truth or Dare is real. No one believes her and Lucas storms off.
Yoni: This is an insane movie.
Dan: Lucas basically gets asked by some demon graffiti if he likes Olivia.
Yoni: Who cares?!
Dan: Right but he comes back to the house and explains that he saw Truth or Dare carved into his arms when he wouldn’t answer.. Which gives Olivia a chance to say this all time great line:
“What we’re seeing is not real! But the consequences are!”
Yoni: I have no idea what happened next.
Dan: Do you remember what Marky’s dare is?
Yoni: I’m trying to remember…YES!
Dan: Marky storms home and is mad at Olivia.
Yoni: Marky gets a text.
Dan: Oh yeah, hahaha. The demon can text. I forgot about that.
Yoni: The Old Mexican Demon has a phone?
Dan: He might not be a Mexican demon. He was just summoned in a Mexican church. But we’ll get to him later.
Yoni: Oh yeah. So the demon shoots Marky a text that says, “Truth or Dare?”
Dan: At this point, I think she still doesn’t believe that Truth or Dare is real, and so she picks dare.
Yoni: Honestly, looking back. I feel like Marky never believed that it was real. Her character is all over the place.
Dan: I think this is the scene where she says “ever since my dad killed himself you’ve been there for me.” Because it’s right after she watches a video on her phone of her dad making swordfish steaks on the grill.. Anyway the dare is that she has to break Olivia’s hand. Marky doesn’t want to but Olivia says something mean about her dad and she does it.
There is a weird line where Tyler? Tyson? the premed kid says something like “Whoa I’m out of here. You should go to a hospital.”
Yoni: The Naysayer is like: “THIS IS WEIRD.” Yes, it is weird, Tyler. There’s a lot of that.
Dan: At the hospital a dead body comes to life and gives Brad a Truth or Dare. Do we actually hear what it is? I don’t think we do…Like, is it a Truth: come out to your dad? or is it a Dare: come out to your dad?
I feel like even as a kid, the rules of this game were ripe for being exploited. I can’t IMAGINE how tricky it would have been if a trickster demon were the one organizing.
Yoni: I still can’t believe some random dead body helped Brad come out to his dad. Also this is mentioned later but when we find out more about the demon, the person telling the story says “he is a ‘trickster’.
The demon… is a trickster
Dan: That girl… is poison.
Yoni: Hey I think it’s time for another Grim Face. [from this point on in the podcast, Yoni refers to Grin Face as Grim Face. I don’t know why — ed.]
Here’s Brad’s dad with Grim Face.
Dan: Hahaha. It’s just a guy smiling.
So back at the mansion where they all live, Brad says “I told him my truth and I stood up to him and I feel awesome.” And this is where Yoni started to fall for the demon’s tricks.
Yoni: It’s beautiful.
Dan: Yoni he is tricking you. Into liking him. He is literally a trickster.
Yoni: There is nothing “tricky” about being honest with who you are. More Brad!
Dan: Well back at the mansion, everyone pulls out their Macbooks. They decide they need to solve this curse.
Yoni: There’s literally a scene with 3 Macbooks open on a kitchen island.
Dan: Marky has the immortal line “Google Mexico Truth or Dare.”
Yoni: Wait I’m going to google this now. :ets see what the top 3 hits are.
Looks like I’m not the only one:
Dan: Wait, was this whole movie a Madonna perfume ad?
Yoni: Maybe she is Grim Face? I wouldn’t know because it’s just a face.
Dan: Eventually, they take Marky’s advice and Google “truth or dare Mexico” and…what do they see first? Some article about a massacre at the church? Or the security footage of the woman burning the gas station lady?
Yoni: Oh yes. She’s some lady named “Giselle” and they get into a fight about “DMing her.”
Dan: Hmm yeah either way they find a news story about the girl from the cold open and they look her up on Facebook. Oh no wait! First they try to find Carter the spring break boy on Facebook.
They look up “Carter” on Facebook but “none of these are him”
Yoni: “DM her!” Lucas shouts. Yeah, but they find Giselle’s facebook page and see that Carter’s in the photo with her. To which Lucas yells: “IS HE TAGGED?”
Never has something so lame been yelled in a movie.
Hey, Let’s see what Lucas looks like with Grim Face.
Ta-dah! It’s a guy!
Dan: Oh yeah! A few things that is important to note: Grin Face will ONLY appear to whoever’s turn it currently is in Truth or Dare. Grin Face will take over some of our heroes from time to time but they never know it while it’s happening or remember it after.
Yoni: Yes, very important. Everyone gets Grim-Faced at one point. It’s kind of fun actually. I was like “I wonder what Marky will look like Grim-Faced?”
Dan: Like herself! I don’t remember the order of what happens next…but I think…they DM giselle from a “Fake Profile?” Meanwhile, Tyler? Tyson? Timon? has to do his Med School interview.
Yoni: Yes, fucking Tyler. God, what a tool.
Dan: So everyone realizes that it’s “Tyler’s turn” and that he is a naysayer so no way will he follow the rules and we have to save him.
Everyone runs to stop him but it’s too late and he has to Truth or Dare whether or not he writes fake prescriptions and he lies and then he suicicides himself with his lucky pen.
Yoni: I have a photo of this, please standby.
Dan: A bunch of people have died so far and, as mentioned, the stakes of these Truths and these Dares are remarkably low. And again, spoiler alert, they never really heighten.
Here is Tyler with Grim Face stabbing himself in the eye with his lucky pen.
Dan: Wow action shot.
Yoni: Yeah it’s pretty cool!
Dan: Should have made a Boomerang.
Yoni: Should have. Side-bar: I never boomerang and find them annoying.
Dan: I think that is one of the messages of this film. Something about apps? Social media?
Next up, back at Teen Mansion, everyone kind of mopes around for a while, passively trying to solve the curse and asking everyone else what’s wrong.
Penelope (remember: Alcoholic, Girlfriend) drinks a big thing that says Vodka and gets depressed that her boyfriend did suicide by pen.
Yoni: His lucky pen of all pens!
Dan: At this point in the movie, I was asking myself, “I wonder if Grin Face can possess a person and make them truth or dare themself in the mirror?”
Yoni: Dan did call this. During the movie, he leaned into me and said “MIRROR.”
Dan: That happens and then we learn a new rule. The rule is that sometimes if you pick Truth the demon says no you can’t do that you have to pick Dare.
Yoni: That was so weird.
Dan: That is a twist right there.
Yoni: It was literally like:
“I chose Truth.”
“No, You can’t. Not for this round.”
I was like “What?”
Dan: The movie also does a thing where sometimes you see them receive their Truth or Dare and sometimes you just see them pick but you don’t get to hear what the Truth or Dare is and sometimes you don’t get to hear anything.
That is called building tension according to Hitchcock i think.
Yoni: I think that was a major flaw in this movie.
Dan: Wrong. The only flaw in this movie is there weren’t any double dares.
Yoni: Google Mark Summers with Grim Face. Get @keatonpatti to Photoshop it.
Dan: Too expensive. Okay so Penelope’s dare is…wait for it….
“I dare you to walk around on the edge of your roof until you finish a bottle of alcohol.”
Yoni: Which is like such a specific Dare . Demon’s creative!
Dan: Yeah. I guess. There is like….a super minor sort of thing where the Truth or Dares sort of relate to the person’s…vices? It’s super minor and super lazy.
Yoni: Some bro in Sigma Chi probably dared the same dare.
Dan: Anyway she does the roof walk and everyone else runs around on the ground like cartoon firemen with a mattress. It’s really stupid and then she finishes her bottle and plops on the mattress and says, “is this my bed?”
Afterwards Olivia says “I got a Facebook message!”
Yoni: Hahahahaha. Again, very lame thing to yell.
Dan: True but it was important. Have we been introduced to the Cops yet? There are a few recurring cops. Brad’s dad we’ve met sort of. There is also head detective, who I think we meet after Tyrone’s pen death.
Yoni: He had a funny name.
Dan: He shows up a bunch and he is very flustered and in over his head and seems to have no authority and leaks a lot of information against his knowledge.
Yoni: His name was like…Kranin? Det. Kranin?
Dan: Sure. Let’s call him Det. Kranin.
Yoni: Terrible Detective. He asked, “Why are you playing this game?” I asked, “Who the fuck is this guy?”
Dan: Well the team decides that they should meet up with Giselle, the hooded lady from the cold open and Facebook, and finally get some answers. They all pile into a car and go to an abandoned lot where Giselle…hangs out.
Yoni: So weird. She’s all dirty and stuff.
Dan: Giselle spills the tea and tells them that she and her friends all did a spring break in Mexico. The implication here is that: there is no other reason people would be in Mexico obviously.
Yoni: She’s been running from the law from burning that lady. Do people still do “spring break”? Am I old?
Dan: She and her friends went to an old church and trashed the place.
Oh also they played a special version of Truth or Dare called Two Truths and a Dare where you can only do Truth twice in a row before you have to Dare again which is why the demon uses those rules.
Oh also the game doesn’t end after you do your turn and we have to keep playing and my dare this round was to kill Olivia.
Yoni:I hated this scene.
Dan: Too scary?
Yoni: It was boring. I was like “Show me the Grim-Face!” (say this in “Car-Fax” voice)
Dan: Well Penelope ends up taking a literal bullet for Olivia and Giselle has to kill herself because according to the rules she didn’t do her dare to completion.
Yoni: Yeah. She has Grim-Face on though, which was great.
Many times in this movie, characters will act surprised or confused about what is happening and a different character, usually Olivia, will yell “this is how it works!” or, “This is what happens!”
Yoni: Olivia was SO CLOSE to going to Habitat for Humanity. Instead she got stuck with this demon curse
Dan: She doesn’t even necessarily explain how it works, she just points to what’s happening and says “this is what happens!”
Next is a good one, Yoni. Maybe the best one.
Yoni: I don’t remember. Remind me.
Dan: I don’t remember what the specific vessel is but it asks Olivia Truth or Dare.
Yoni: HAHAHAHAHAHA. This was insane.
Dan: She picks dare because she is selfless and the game asks her…nay…DARES her…to…
SLEEP WITH LUCAS!
Yoni: This demon. What a fucking trouble maker. Or should i say trickster. It’s as if MOVIES wrote this movie.
“Let’s have them have sex”
“Have the demon dare them to”
Dan: It’s really dumb and then of course Marky gets mad at them for having to do this.
Yoni: Marky! Get with the program. They’re gonna die. Let them have sex.
Dan: So Olivia and Lucas are getting ready to have sex, and she says…”Wait. You’re just doing this because of the dare!” To which he says…”No. You have to. I don’t.”
What is the point of this interaction? Is it supposed to be tender?
Yoni: I have no idea.
Dan: It makes especially little sense given what happens next.
Yoni: I have a picture!
Dan: They are having sex, girl on top, and Olivia Grin Faces mid coitus and… chokes him? That’s new for Grin Face.
Here is Olivia, naked, as Grim Face.
Dan: Anyway she chokes him and Truth or Dares him to say who he really loves.
Yoni: We’ve all been there. ☺ That was a joke, Dan.
Dan: So Lucas says he really loves Marky and then they just get dressed? And move on to the next scene?
Yoni: Yes. Like, everything is fine? What a weird love triangle. Terrible, really. Also I guess this is like college relationships. Marky and Lucas are probs gonna break up next year anyway.
Dan: I have no idea and also I don’t know how they decide to go back to Mexico. They see some article about a woman who lives near the haunted church? Like, it’s literally an article that says where this woman lives?
Yoni: It’s online by the way, on their Macbook laptops. There are no more newspapers.
Dan: Yeah well either way they see an article about a Woman In Mexico so they decide to go see her. In the car we get another great line:
“I’m worried about Marky. I wish we found her before we left.”
Olivia and Lucas just decide to go to Mexico and cure the curse without Marky. On a whim.
Yoni: Yeah. Again, they drive to mexico 3 times.
Dan: So many road trips.
Yoni: Must be at least a 2 hour drive. Did they listen to a podcast? Talk? “This demon thing sucks, huh?”
Dan: Play road trip games. From the makers of Truth or Dare comes:
Blumhouse’s I SPY.
“You have to say what you spy with your little eye or the demon will kill you!!!!”
Yoni: I SPY with my PUNCH BUGGY eye…
Dan: Ok well I don’t remember the order of scenes here but basically Marky is at a Dairy Queen or something watching the video of her dad grilling swordfish. The video goes all wonky and dad starts going off script.
Yoni, what did dad look like….?
Dan: If you were wondering whether Grin Face can edit video…
Yoni: Wait wait wait. I know we already mentioned this, but she has a video on her phone of her dad cooking something. And in the video she asks, “Dad, are you making steak?” and he goes, “Yeah, swordfish steak!” and laughs. Mary has the words memorized and says them along as the video plays.
Dan: This time Grin Face Truths her into saying why she kept her dad’s gun? He is like, “why do you keep the gun I used to kill myself?” And then he goads her into using it?
It really seems like the demon is bending his own rules again here.
Yoni: Also her dad is her age.
Dan: A family can look like anything. Oh my god. Wait. Back at the police station, after Giselle kills herself, Det. Kranin has a pile of photos of all of her friends. He is like, “Olivia, do you know these people?” And it’s literally like a pile of actor headshots.
Okay back in Mexico, Olivia and Lucas find their way to the Old House. This part is GOOD.
Yoni: Yeah it’s a weird one.
Dan: They knock on the door and a young girl answers. She says her grandmother is the woman in the article but she hasn’t talked for 50 years so I doubt she’ll talk to you but I’ll give her a message.
Yoni: So they wait, and there’s like this time passing edit.
Dan: Then they do the thing that shows time elapse where you get a static shot with actors fading in and out at different locations. Classic time passing edit.
Yoni: They cross dissolve to Olivia and Lucas waiting in all different positions.
Dan: Keep in mind, at this point the movie has done literally NO stylistic shots or creative editing choices. Other than the weird credits montage.
Dan: After 6–8 of these crossfades, Olivia says “It’s been over an hour!” to really let us know that time has passed.
Yoni: AN HOUR. AN HOUR. They drove to Mexico 3 times! They waited an hour and are like “Fuck this.”
Dan: Well lucky for them abuela decides to see them now. It took so long because she was writing them a note. This entire scene is so good.
Yoni: Yeah it’s awesome.
Dan: She hands them a stack of papers that explain everything.
Yoni: EVERY. THING. We even find out the demon’s name.
Dan: Why don’t you try to summarize the letters, start to finish.
Yoni: I’ll try my best.
“Many years ago, me and other girls lived in a church. We used to play games like truth or dare. The priest used to molest us. We hated him so one girl was like ‘I know a curse, let’s put it on him’. The curse summons the demon ‘Calux’ (sp?) and he takes the form of the game we are playing and kills the priest but is stuck in our world and continues to kill. Also I’M the one who summoned Calux and I had to CUT MY TONGUE OFF in order to summon him, hence why I cant talk.”
Dan: Close but I think she cut out her tongue to actually stop him later, not summon him.
Yoni: Oh. Whatever, his name is Calux.
Dan: That’s true.
Yoni: It’s here where she says, “Calux is a real trickster.” Fucking Calux.
Dan: I believe this is also the scene where Olivia says “This game is smart. Too smart. We’re not playing it. It’s playing us!” But also they learn that the way to seal Calux away is to say a spell 7 times in spanish and cut out your tongue and seal it in a jar with wax. It has to be the one who released him to seal it so they have to figure out who released Calux.
Yoni: Oh yes the jar. The jar is…the candle from hot topic! And she has like a spare with her and gives it to them.
Dan: It looks like a Motocross apparel logo.
Dan: It’s where I would hide my weed if I was really into Slipknot.
Yoni: Wait we need to talk about the scene when she reveals she has no tongue. She opens her mouth for like 5 minutes and just yells.
Dan: Oh yeah, hahaha. It’s a big reveal that…the sacrifice required to stop Calux is….
Written on a note. And then she opens her mouth and does a silent scream for a slow zoom. I truly can’t think of a lower stakes sacrifice, Yoni. It’s insane that the stakes to stop this omnipotent demon are to cut off your tongue.
Yoni: Yeah, I was like, “There’s probably technology to help people speak without tongues?” Moses didn’t have a tongue and dude did just fine.
Dan: Well good news, now they have the spell written down so they can drive back to America.
Yoni: Which again, is probably 2 hours. They spent around 6 hours in the car.
Dan: Again, I may have gotten some stuff out of order but we have a few more Truth or Dares. Maybe these were actually before one of the Mexicos, who knows.
Yoni: Yes, but of course.
Dan: Brad gets dared, via police radio, to steal his dad’s gun and make him beg for his life. This is FAR AND AWAY the most intense Dare of the whole movie. And it comes out of nowhere.
Yoni: Yeah, the dad already told him he was cool with him being gay. It was so nice. But then out of nowhere, demon’s like, “I dare you to steal your dad’s gun and make him beg for his life.”
So he pulls the gun and yells, “Dad, you need to beg!” And I mean he kind of does but doesn’t actually say the words “beg.”
Dan: Dad will not formally bed. The rules are very unclear as to what counts.
Yoni: He’s like, “Please don’t do this, I love you.” Which is begging.
Dan: So many of these Dares are…dependent on other people? It’s unfair. It’s like, Yoni, I dare you to make your Mom recite the Declaration of Independence by memory!
Yoni: Oh man, impossible. My mom’s from Israel. She doesn’t even know the lyrics to “yellow submarine.”
So anyway another cop sees this begging dare and SHOOTS BRAD.
Dan: Ya brad gets shot and his dad….yells at the cop that shot him and screams “GET A PARAMEDIC!” The other kids show up and he yells to know one, “WE NEED A PARAMEDIC!”
Yoni: It’s so funny. Imagine being a dad. Your son comes out to you.
Dan: You’re shocked but you accept him for who he is. Then the next day he pulls out a gun and says “Beg for your life.”
“Wow. I guess this is what it means to be gay. I accept it.”
Yoni: And then your partner shoots him.
Dan: That was a hate crime.
Yoni: And then YOU have to yell at your partner to get a paramedic.
Dan: I can’t perform emergency medical procedures on this boy, he’s my son! And he’s gay!
Yoni: What’s next on the ol Dare list?
Dan: Back at the police station, which now looks like a used car dealership showroom, Olivia gets a Truth or Dare and she picks dare. She gets dared to tell Marky the truth of her deep dark secret which agan, feels like a rule bender.
Yoni: Oh my god. This is like twist number 6.
Dan: But whatever, this scene is nuts, even in the context of this movie. I’ll handle this one. Her secret is…
“One night when your dad got laid off I went to your house to hang out and I told him you and I would take care of him and figure something out. He was drinking and told me I was beautiful and started trying to kiss me. I told him no but he kept coming on stronger so I told him I would tell you about it and he got sad. He said if i told you he would kill himself and I said maybe that would be better.”
Dan: Marky gets mad, obviously, because her friend rejected her dad’s advances and refused to be raped. The movie takes Marky’s side basically. It’s insane and casually dismissive of Olivia’s assault by the dad.
Yoni: So casual.
Dan: Without looking it up, guess whether this movie was written by a dude? Just checked. 4 screenplay by credits. 1 female. Ok I guess they can get away with it!
But no there is an obvious, dangerously implicit throughline of hating women in this movie.
All the stuff that happens in this movie is because of women doing stuff because of men. It’s weird!
Yoni: Yeah. It’s kind of shitty?
Dan: It’s very shitty. And like there is no way the people writing it are even aware of what they are doing. But anyway, Marky gets mad.
Yoni: So she goes home to kill herself. Sorry to “jump the gun,” but it’s insane
Dan: Oh yeah that’s true. She goes home to watch the swordfish steak video and try to figure out how to hold a gun.
Yoni: Let me know when you want the picture.
Dan: Hit me.
Look at that. LOOK AT THE WAY SHE HOLDS THAT GUN.
Dan: Well lucky for her, Olivia shows up and they chat and somehow, some way, Marky forgives her for not wanting her dad to rape her.
Next stop, Carter’s house, the original creep from the Bar in Mexico who invited them to the church.
Yoni: Oh yeah! Remember him?
Dan: You see, they learned that Carter is the one who “trashed the church” and knocked over the jar that smelled like shit.
Yoni: This jar must have been so stinky. Luckily, he lives in the town they are in! So convenient!
Dan: They go to his building and for some reason Olivia points at the door and says “This is it! Number 6!” That line stuck with me and I have no idea why.
Yoni: I did not pay attention. Where did they get that info? I just remember Lucas saying, “Fuck this!” and kicking the door open.
Dan: Det. Kranin left Olivia in the interrogation room, with his files open to her.
Yeah so inside the apartment, Carter is like all paranoid and shit. Which makes sense given all that is going on. His plan is to hide in his room and not talk to anyone so that no one can Grin Face him.
That…is not the worst plan except for a few things. We already earned that the demon can “possess people, objects, even ideas.” Whatever that means.
Yoni: Yeah, the objects thing made me laugh.
Dan: They might not actually say that but it’s that kind of moment.
Yoni: Like imagine a roomba with Grim Face. @keatonpatti, can you help us out?
Dan: So they try to convince him to come back to Mexico and stop this “one and for all.”
Yoni: Olivia pulls a gun on him, because obviously he doesn’t want to go.
Dan: Smash cut to: everyone back in Mexico walking to the church, with a gun still to Carter’s head! Olivia held the gun on him for the whole car ride.
Yoni: 2 hour drive!
Dan: Plus they are still using their phones to light the way! They ARE NOT PREPARED for this Yoni. Why didn’t they get a flashlight or a lantern?
Yoni: they didn’t learn at all. I honestly can’t wait ’til will get to the ending.
Dan: Yeah and actually, the whole climax is very stupid.
Yoni: So stupid, and quick.
Dan: They start doing the ritual and the building starts to fall apart. There’s a bunch of rapid fire Dares and Truths and shit like that and whatever.
Yoni: Carter cuts his tongue off, but, wait. I need help to remember. Well. Wait. Lucas gets Grim-Faced? I don’t know.
Dan: Right and he gets Dared to do something off screen.
Yoni: It’s hurting my head.
Dan: We aren’t told what it is but he says he has to leave because he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. It turns out he was Dared to kill one of the two girls. But he doesn’t so Grin Face takes over his bodily and basically cheats again? Grin Face normally only is allowed to suicide whoever didn’t do their Truth or Dare.
Yoni: Also, WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THIS LOVE TRIANGLE.
Dan: But this time Grin Face also grabs a knife and kills Carter. Grin face is making it up as he goes along. What a trickster.
Yoni: Grim Face totally cheats. And sucks? Calux. His name is Calux.
Dan: Well after Lucas and Carter are dead, the Girls call a Time-Out.
Yoni: Yeah, Dan we need to break this down because it’s so confusing.
Dan: Olivia has a plan and tells Marky to pick Dare no matter what and to not do it. She is like, Ok sure.
So Marky picks Dare. She gets Dared to shoot Olivia. Marky says no I won’t do it. Calux Grin Faces Marky and makes her shoot herself. As she is shooting herself, Olivia grabs the gun and has Marky shoot her.
She then says, “There! She did it!” But like, okay?
Yoni: I don’t know.
Dan: Next she say something like, “Calux, Truth or Dare?!”
Yoni: BOOM! Mic drop. All the feels.
Dan: And I’m like, oh Interesting. I see where this is going. The plan was to get him to play while he was temporarily in Marky’s body. Okay interesting.
So Calux picks truth. Which is like, duh of course he will.
Yoni: Calux. His name is Calux. How did that make it through 4 screenwriters?!?
Dan: Olivia asks, “How do we get out of this game alive?” And he says you can’t.
Yoni: Great question. Terrible answer.
Dan: So then, they…run away! That’s the big plan. And now we get to the big ending.
Yoni: The BIG fucking ending is so insane. I’ll get the picture ready.
Dan: While they are running away they say that the only way to stop this is for them to die, otherwise people will keep having to play forever. Olivia whips out her phone. I hope you remember that she is a YouTube star from the beginning. She proceeds to liveblog an explanation of what is happening and EVERYONE IS WATCHING.
There is a montage of people ALL OVER THE WORLD watching her dumb video.
Yoni: EVERYONE. London, Big Ben in the back. Japan. France. And the majority are still all white people. It was weird.
Dan: She explains everything that is going on, and at the end she says, “Truth or Dare?” and then everyone in the world else has to play now.
That’s Grim Face watching the YouTube livestream.
Dan: The twist being that earlier she said she would sacrifice her friends to save all of Mexico but now she would rather sacrifice all her YouTube followers to have it take longer between rounds of Truth or Dare for herself.
Yoni: She went from Habitat for Humanity to spreading a curse WORLD WIDE in a week.
Dan: My biggest problem with this ending is while she is broadcasting it shows that she only has 3.5k YouTube subscribers.
Yoni: Hahahahahahha GOOD EYE.
Dan: THat wouldn’t even get her into the YouTube Creator’s space. 5k minimum these days.
Yoni: “The Rent is Too Damn High” guy has more followers. Grim Face, him please, @keatonpatti.
Dan: I dare you to tell me if the rent is too damn high? And then boom. Credits. Wow. What a movie.
Yoni: Terrible. Insane.
Dan: Let’s play a game, and see if in 2 minutes, we can come up with more fun dares for this movie.
Yoni: I love it. Should we dare certain people? Like “Olivia, show Lucas your butt!”
Dan: I DARE Ronnie to put his dick in a pencil sharpener and file it to a point and then jam it into Tyvek’s eyeball to death.
Yoni: Tyler. Tyvek was in “Fiddler on the roof.” I DARE Penelope to get her fucking act right and drop the bottle.
Yoni: It’s so funny how the demon helps Brad come out. And he like smiles.
Dan: I DARE Marky to take an Eat Pray Love trip and just find herself. You don’t need a man.
Yoni: I DARE Calux to maybe not be such a trickster and be more of a community organizer. Like he can use his power for good.
Dan: Hmm, they really glanced over the priest who raped all the young girls back in Mexico.
Yoni: I mean, she did mention he was ripped apart. But that was like in the middle of the letter. P.P.S.
Dan: Again, this movie doesn’t question whether it’s problematic to have women basically exist to a) be sex objects and b) make things worse when they try to not be.
Also, Is it a horror movie thing, or just a bad movie thing, to like, make rules for how your movie works and then change them and update them arbitrarily as things progress?
Yoni: I feel like its a bad horror thing.
Dan: Okay, I think we covered most of what happens in this movie. Before we get to the closing questions, anything we missed or that you want to mention?
Yoni: Just one more quote. I forgot who says this, but someone says, “Any more super dangerous rules?”
Dan: Hahaha.I wrote that one down too.
Yoni: Super Dangerous Rules is the title of the book on how to write a shitty horror movie. I think someone says that to Calux.
Dan: No, someone says that to Giselle after they find out about Two Truths and a Dare. Okay, first question: What were your three favorite things about this movie?
Yoni: 1) Grim Face. I laughed every time it came on.
2) How many apps they mentioned.
3) Grim Face, really. It’s so funny. I love Grim Face.
Those are all the Grim Faces i got, but there are like 8 more that I missed.
Dan: For me:
1) I loved the cursed abuela who wrote her entire life story for these two American college kids. She hasn’t spoke for 50 years! No one bothered to ask her what was up since then.
Yoni: WAIT! Dan, can I add one more?
3b) Mid-way through the movie, a man came in and sat down with a huge bin of popcorn. Like way too late. Then he left 30 mins later. Everyone in the theatre laughed when left. It was very funny.
Dan: 2) I thought it was a bold choice to have NO PARENTS at any time other than for Brad who had to excessive force his dad. I bet if there were parents they just wouldn’t understand anyway.
3) I think we could be looking at a potential run of Truth or Dare spin-off movies, based on that ending. Truth or Dare: London Calling. Truth or Dare: Tokyo Drift. I mean the Dares write themselves at this point.
Ok next question, if you could change one thing about the movie, what would it be?
Yoni: Hmm. I guess, like, drop the weird sex scene? I don’t know. I hated and loved the movie very much. It’s the perfect Moviepass movie. So many times you go see a horror film hoping it’ll be “fun” bad, and it’s just bad. This was at least, “fun” bad, and I appreciate that.
Dan: I would definitely add a scene where during one of the road trips to mexico they pass a gross looking taco stand (this movie is NOT coy about reinforcing Mexican stereotypes) and maybe Lucas turns to Olivia and says, “I dare you to eat one of THOSE!”
And then penelope barfs and everyone laughs.
Yoni: Oh dan, that’s good! Yeah more Penelope barf.
Dan: Thanks! Last question, if you could rename the movie what would you call it?
Yoni: “Uh.. Guys? You need to see this”
Dan: I would definitely call it: Rules Were Meant to Be Broken or 100 Minutes in Heaven.
Well Yoni, this was a blast. Any last words for our fans?
Yoni: Honestly, It’s amazing that a movie can be scary.
Dan: I guess my only question for all of you reading is…
Truth or Dare?
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