Jay Jackson (Bart Edwards) is a workaholic who lives with his wife and two daughters and despite his need to get out of the house to provide for his family, he seemingly lives the perfect life. That is until one night when his house gets invaded by a serial killer who drags him away.
Jay wakes up in an empty room that with no clue of where he is and he soon realises that he shares it with three other people who are all in different states of anguish. However, as soon as the group all realise why they are there and what connects them, they think that the key to their escape may be in their grasp.
The Dare is directed by Giles Alderson who co-wrote the script with Jonny Grant and for those horror fans who took notice of a particular horror film that turned into a franchise in the early 2000’s then they may know exactly what to expect.
Taking its inspiration quite clearly from Saw, The Dare attempts to recreate that sense of terror and mix it with an (un)healthy dose of torture porn. As soon as Jay wakes up in an abandoned building with his leg chained to the wall, the audience can see what’s coming even if the story does try to be a little bit different.
As the story goes on, there are flashbacks to a little boy’s past and his relationship with his abusive father which is difficult to watch, but for those paying attention (even a little) then the identity of the little boy may become clear.
It’s unfortunate then that once the identity of the killer is revealed and therefore so is the connection between his victims, the audience may stop caring about their survival entirely.
One of the guilty pleasures of watching a movie such as this is that the audience gets to indulge in watching people getting brutally tortured.
The audience know it isn’t real, but if the effect of what is done on screen is done well and seems realistic it can make the audience squirm and has the desired effect.
This can be said for The Dare, but with so little characterisation and no story arc for any of the characters (including the killer), all is left is the gruesome knifing and gouging.
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