So let’s play a quiet game. Do you choose ‘A Quiet Place’ or ‘Truth or Dare’?
Do you choose the film that earned its jumps scares, or the one that pumped up the volume whenever it wanted to make you jump? Do you choose the film that had a fairly original premise or the one with a clichéd narrative? Do you choose the film written and directed by Jim from The American Office, or the film written and directed by the guy that made the massive let down that was Kick Ass 2?
A Quiet Place was a very, very good Twlight Zone-esque B-Movie that took a simple, easy to understand idea and took it as far as it could go. A family lives in a world where they can’t make noises over a whisper without creatures that sense their prey only through noise hunting them down. We are drawn into the quiet world and hold our breath when a character drops something by accident- this even in a cinema with a fairly talkative audience. Unlike the other film, A Quiet Place earned its occasional jump scare through plot alone. By this I mean that it didn’t have to turn the speakers up to eleven. In fact, it managed to achieve one jump scare by the simple shot of a babbling brook (not as scary as an A-Level exam on The Scarlet Letter though I promise you).
On the other hand, Truth or Dare took a simple kids / drunken teenager game and turned it into a overly convoluted mess. The first third, to be fair, was set up quite well. Decent character building which then quickly turns onto the main plot. A group of teenagers play a game of truth or dare that soon turns deadly. But then the film lost hope in itself and gave up on its own simple rules. Starting making up its own rules to keep the plot going, and escalated far too quickly and without reason. I was expecting a bit more of over the top deaths associated with the Final Destination franchise but they were all quite bland really. Some horribly clichéd horror moments- I swear if I have to watch a character in the bathroom look down and then up at their own warped reflection in the mirror one more time I’ll have to choke myself in a bucket of Odeon’s overpriced, chewy popcorn!
So if you like your horror movies, I urge you to go see A Quiet Place rather than Truth or Dare. Leave the latter for underage teenagers that snuck in so they can laugh away their terror or try touching that girl’s hand that they sit next to in maths.