Move over Pennywise! When it comes to Millennium Films’ The Dare, directed by Giles Alderson and written by Jonny Grant– it becomes evident fairly quickly that kids are the absolute worst and bring terror to anything the touch. (Okay, not ALL kids. But definitely THESE kids.) The Dare follows Jay (Bart Edwards) as he wakes up a-la SAW chained and beaten in a basement with three strangers.
What follows next is the unique origin story of Dominic (Robert Maaser) and his brutal rise to sociopathy. The Dare is a fantastic horror film, full of anxiety and gore- but it also serves as a commentary about intense childhood trauma and the cruelty of middle school kids. No spoilers here, but trauma is complex and The Dare might be one of the only films where morality is absolutely questioned in every scene and every plot development.
Horror films are often reflective of the world we live in, but gives the viewers a way to access complex emotions and actions in a heightened environment that becomes less personal and easier to engage in. Themes of childhood abuse by a parental figure are very difficult to present in a way that doesn’t cheapen the reality of trauma. Alderson and Grant have beautifully executed putting these jarring themes into The Dare without glorifying it or making trauma an excuse for violence. Adolescence is frightening, and this film has done an excellent job at using the genre as a parallel to growing up while making the viewer (re)consider the concept of ‘nature vs nurture.’
The incredible cast of The Dare includes horror powerhouse Richard Brake, alongside the brilliant Kat Evans Richard Short, and Harry Jarvis as young Dominic. If you are looking for a film that combines psychological torture, bugs, physical torture, bugs, terrifying adults, terrifying children, and bugs- THIS IS THE FILM FOR YOU!
The Dare is set for release and VOD on March 3rd, 2020.