This Friday—Friday, the 13th—is the much-anticipated(-by-me) premiere of Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare. Starring Selena Gomez lookalike Lucy Hale, the movie is about a group of college students who play a seemingly harmless game of Truth or Dare, only to awaken an evil force that makes them tell the truths or do the dares, lest they want to die really grisly deaths. Or, worse yet, want their faces get all fucked up:
Coming from the same production company that brought you such high-concept horror flicks as The Purge (not to mention, Get Out), it’s bound to be a good time at the movie theater. But before you wrangle your friends into going with you on Friday—by, say, double-dog-daring them—check out this primer on films to see beforehand. Based on the trailer, and what we know about the movie, I’ve pseudo-scientifically decoded the DNA of Truth or Dare, and rebuilt it using four movies you can stream right now.
A Movie About Death Itself Conspiring to Kill People
Final Destination (2000)
A teenager named Alex has a premonition about a plane exploding moments before boarding a plane to Paris, and insists everyone get off. When the plane does, in fact, blow up, he and the seven other passengers who “have cheated death” must avoid dying by way of fun little (not fun, big) accidents cooked up by the ethereal forces of death itself. James Wong’s original spawned an entire franchise-full of sequels, which used pretty much the exact same simple concept to pretty much the same anxiety-inducing effect.
The Truth or Dare DNA: It features an evil force conspiring to kill folks in creative and gruesome ways.
Where to Stream It: HBO Go.
A Movie About the Transference of a Supernatural Curse, Designed to Kill Sexually-Active Teens
It Follows (2015)
The high-concept for David Robert Mitchell’s critically acclaimed horror movie: an STD that’s less a disease and more a fatal curse passed from one (typically attractive teenage) person to the next via sexual intercourse. It’s sexy. It’s scary. It’s suspenseful. It’s...either the best or worst date movie in the world, depending on how you look at it.
The Truth or Dare DNA: There's a curse that follows one young attractive person to the next, depending on its own kind-of-logical supernatural agenda, with horrifying effects.
Where to Stream It: Amazon, iTunes or YouTube.
A Movie About Completing Dares to Win an Online Game, the Outcome of Which Result in Dead/Injured Teens
A high school senior (Emma Roberts) enters a ruthless online game, popular amongst students, that demands its players participate in an escalating series of insane dares, from kissing a stranger (played by very attractive stranger, Dave Franco), to robbing a luxury clothing store, to punching people in the face. Naturally, things get out of hand...
The Truth or Dare DNA: This isn't a horror movie, per se. But the stakes-raising game aspect of it, preying on the instincts uninhibited teenagers, is pretty similar.
Where to Stream It: Hulu
A Movie About a College Student Who Must Decode the Mystery of Her Own Death to Avoid Becoming a Dead College Student
Happy Death Day (2017)
The premise of Happy Death Day has been described as “Groundhog Day meets Scream.” Essentially, a sorority girl inexplicably named Tree gets killed one night and wakes up to relive the same day, over and over again, until she can solve her own murder. Personally, I think it’s a better Groundhog Day than Groundhog Day, because Tree has a reason for living the same day over and over, again, rather than mastering ice sculpture and aimlessly trying to win over Andie MacDowell.
The Truth or Dare DNA: Its protagonist is a college student tasked with figuring out a decidedly evil puzzle in order to save herself.
Where to Stream It: Amazon or YouTube