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Friday, March 6, 2020

THE DARE (Film Review)

                               Starring: Bart Edwards, Richard Brake, Richard Short

                                                    Directed by: Giles Alderson


  With the bullying epidemic becoming one of those things that can really draw a line in the sand between a hero and a truly evil soul, director Giles Alderson's The Dare comes off like a teaching tool in a rather demented fashion. It's routinely textbook, satisfactorily gruesome, and should appeal to those who like their torture porn gritty and grimy.

 The movie's premise is as follows: we're tagging along with devoted family man Jay ((Edwards) who is prepping to hit the road for a work conference when he's kidnapped and chucked into a dingy room with a trio of shackled prisoners. Now it certainly doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude that these people have some sort of connection, and it'll get fleshed out over the course of the film, and as that's going on we're treated to a series of flashbacks telling the tale of the hulking kook who is acting as the quartet's very sadistic party host. His name is Dominic (Robert Maaser), and his past is one of not only physical but horrific mental abuse, all at the hands of his captor, Credence (played to delightful excellence by Richard Brake). He's "taken in" Dominic at an early age, and has filled his mind with the notion that his parents have left him and won't be looking for him any time soon. Now you can probably guess the corrosive impact a twisted thought of that nature would have on a child, but those are merely words - Credence teaches with an iron fist, and other sharp implements to instruct the youngin' in the ways of the world - talk about home schooling!

  While the fate-filled foursome is forced at random by the masked muscle-head to perform some rather grisly undertakings, the overall construction of the plot begins to truly unfold in front of our eyes. While I'm not going to admit that this is something I've never seen before, it does work on a moderate level and outside of a few herky-jerky plot hiccups the film was a decent watch. Performances were adequate for what was being conveyed here, but the standalone was Brake's portrayal of a seriously warped individual who appeared as if he wanted to impart life's hardest lessons in the direction of a child - some scenes were a bit uncomfortable, but that's what makes a convincing story and if it's effective enough to make you shift in your seat during its undertakings then it's a victory in the eyes of the presenters. After all was said and done and the credits had rolled, I thought about watching this one again to see if there were any pertinent pieces of information that may have escaped me, but all was laid out nicely and I was content in the fact that this was a "one-and-done" for me, and might be as well for you also. The Dare doesn't reinvent the wheel in its barbarism and dire circumstances, but it's a passable viewing for some who want their cautionary tales sprawled out in blood and dirt. The film is available now on VOD and digital platforms and is having a ONE-NIGHT ONLY theatrical release on March 6th (hey, that's tonight!), so check your local listings to see if it's on a big screen near you.

FILM SCORE: 3 out of 5



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