Viewed – 21 July 2016 online rental
A high school senior decides to take part in an online game involving a series of dares, run by a group of anonymous ‘watchers’, after feeling pressured to be more bold and extrovert like her best friend. However once embroiled into the game, it quickly becomes clear there’s more sinister motives at play.
I liked the idea of this from the trailer and have found Emma Roberts more than just the niece of Julia Roberts whenever I’ve seen her in stuff. Here she’s well cast as a likeable but somewhat shy teen who see’s the game as a way of coming out of her shell. With the concept of the dares always becoming increasingly risky and dangerous It became quite exciting wondering what would happen next. James Franco’s younger brother I’m guessing Dave Franco is onboard as another player that teams up with Roberts and the two of them become an unlikely pairing as the stakes grow higher and higher. With a backdrop of a neon soaked New York by night, a pumping EDM soundtrack and plenty of energy I found this entertaining from beginning to end. It’s also a scarily believable concept that people might get caught up in such risky online games via their phones, what with the allure of money and popularity and leader boards etc.
Sadly, the movie comes undone in it’s closing moments with a conclusion that for me didn’t entirely make sense; with hacking used to gloss over a bit of a plot hole. Yet up until that point I’d been having a blast. It has a strong visual identity and bags of energy and at least kept the whole idea grounded in reality when it could have easily gone nuts. One to check out.
Verdict: 3.5 /5