For Truth or Dare, we explore the origin of the cursed game, how the players attempt to break the curse, and what the ending means for a potential sequel. Blumhouse has found a great deal of success in recent years with different takes on the horror genre. In 2017, M. Night Shyamalan returned with Split, Jordan Peele released the now-Academy Award-winning Get Out, and Happy Death Day put a deadly spin on the Groundhog Day concept - just to name a few of Blumhouse's releases.
Now, Blumhouse again turns to a classic game for new horrific inspiration with Jeff Wadlow's Truth or Dare. The film follows a group of college students on spring break who get roped into a dangerous game of Truth or Dare by a stranger they barely know. It's only when they return home that they realize the game won't let them stop playing - and if they don't play, they die. Olivia (Lucy Hale) and her friends must figure out a way to break the curse, all while continuing to play the game.
Over the course of Truth or Dare, the mystery of the cursed game Olivia and her friends are forced to play is revealed. Not only are the basic - but deadly - rules of the game explained, but Olivia discovers the source of the curse and how it can be broken. However, the ending of Truth or Dare goes in a somewhat unexpected direction. So, we break down the curse, unravel what the ending means, and discuss how Truth or Dare could continue in a potential sequel.
The Curse Explained
The initial rules of the game are established early on in the movie, with Carter (Landon Liboiron) explaining them to Olivia: You tell the truth or you die, you do the dare or you die, refuse to play and you die. However, one other rule is revealed partway through the movie - if two people in a row choose truth, the next person is required to choose dare. This rule comes from the group that originally started playing the game. It's later revealed that Carter's real name is Sam and he and his friends were the group that started playing the game after stumbling upon the Rosarito Mission Church in Mexico.
As established in the film, this group's Truth or Dare game is cursed after Sam trashes the church and breaks a pot that had been containing a trickster demon named Calax. In the mythology of the movie, demons can possess people, places, objects or ideas; in this case, Calax possesses the game. However, when Sam's group of friends is whittled down to just him and a girl named Giselle (Aurora Perrineau), he's dared to bring new people into the game - enter Olivia and her friends. Sam, using the fake name of Carter, brings Olivia and her friends to the church and inducts them all into the game. Once they each take a turn, they're in. Even after they leave the church, the game follows them, forcing them to continue to play in the same order as in the church. Old players stay in the game, although it's unclear in the movie if Sam is taking his turn or not.
Because the game is possessed by a demonic entity - especially one described as a trickster - it's smart and Olivia quickly realizes there's no way to outsmart Calax. Plus, the game forces each of its players to take their turn using torturous visions. This starts off mild, with Olivia seeing "Truth or Dare?" written in various places, but escalates to Lucas (Tyler Posey) seeing the question burned into his arm. In addition to these visions, Calax can send messages through electronic devices. We see Giselle receive a dare in the opening sequence of the film when the cashier at a rest stop answers the phone; later, Markie (Violett Beane) receives her dare via text message. The fact that the game can pass through electronics is key to understanding the ending, but first, we also must also understand the origins of Calax.
- Truth or Dare (2018) release date: Apr 13, 2018