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Soundtrack review: Truth or dare (Matthew Margeson – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Truth or dare (Matthew Margeson – 2018)

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Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare,[3] or simply Truth or Dare, is a 2018 American supernatural horror film directed by Jeff Wadlow and written by Michael Reisz, Jillian Jacobs, Chris Roach and Wadlow. It stars Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Hayden Szeto and Landon Liboiron, and follows a group of college students who play a game of truth or dare? while on vacation in Mexico, only to realize it has deadly consequences if they don’t follow through on their tasks. Matthew Margeson wrote the score.

Well the plot is simple and well known, your classical slasher movie; it wasn’t very well received by critics who said it was derivative and not even close to being scary enough. The first few cues seem to match that description as I hear nothing that I remember once the respective cue is over. It’s nothing frustrating either, just normal, generic music with the pleasant opening that shows how life was before whatever happens happens and then an almost comedic cue “The game” which to me is the kind of cue I usually find on a comedy movie whenever a misunderstanding happens. “Follow the rules” sounds a little better with a nice piano motif in the beginning. The mood gets even better in “Break Olivia’s hand” as there is a melancholic passage in there, reflective and melodic, that I can work with. I keep finding these moments but not entire cues or a coherent atmosphere. It seems the quiet melodic moments are the best of the score so far.

When the music tries to be scary, like in “Tyson’s interview”, it once again fails to be compelling; it’s too quiet and presents a shyly frantic atmosphere instead. I try to turn the volume higher but it still doesn’t help; there is tension in the music but not dense enough, not meaningful enough. “Rooftop truth or dare” is the longest cue from this score, almost 6 minutes long, and it really is representative for the album: if you like this cue there is a big chance you’ll have fun with the entire score. This was was not for me, as the few enjoyable moments I found were not enough to compensate the frustration of the rest of the score, a frustration that ironically also comes from the good moments, like “Inez” for example or the final, dramatic cue, because I know the score could have been much better.

Cue rating: 56 / 100

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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