Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Dare follows in the footsteps of the “torture porn” greats like Saw and Hostel, while mixing in slasher baddie elements circa Friday the 13th and Prom Night. It’s another solid entry from the Horror Collective company, and a movie I wasn’t expecting much from, but ended up loving anyway. Set in a dilapidated farmhouse, the story is perfectly simple: four strangers, one of whom has his mouth sewn shut, wake up chained in different corners of a room. With little rhyme or reason as to why they are here, beyond a bulky masked madman and his unsavory methods, they begin to discover more in common than initially suspected…

Jay (Bart Edwards) is the film’s lead, and following the threads of his past is crucial to unlocking the central mysteries of The Dare. When the four characters realize they are linked through a tragic event in their past, Jay is the one most committed to getting out alive. In flashbacks, Richard Brake plays menacing psycho Credence as we explore the backstory of our Jason Vorhees stand-in. A bulk of this embraces the overused horror trope of kids playing a prank which backfires, and thankfully, it is very effective. Stockholm syndrome, brainwashing, and desperation paint Dom (Robert Maaser and Mitchell Norman) in creepy shades of gray.

This is one nasty movie, and it is not for the faint of heart. Spider egg injection, eye maggots, flesh-slicing, and cockroach swallowing are just a sample of the disgusting horrors on display. The setting is just as disturbing as the visuals—the old farmhouse is crumbling more and more as the flashbacks progress. A twisty narrative unravels over the course of its just-right 1 hour 37 minute runtime. As each layer peels from the mystery, the story further captivates and awes. If you’re in the right mindset for a gory good time, The Dare is the perfect balance of torture and titillation. 

The Dare is currently available to rent or buy on Amazon, YouTube, and Vudu.

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