Truth or Dare…I Dare you! Nerve Film & Book Review


Erik Calderon, Staff Writer

Vee (Emma Roberts) walks into the middle of the coffee shop to perform her very first dare.  “Even when I’m wet, I’m so hot!”  She has to yell out while pouring a cup of water over her head.  She hesitates, not sure if she’ll have the courage to do it.  Something so simple, a child wouldn’t have a problem doing it; but Vee is super shy, she’s never been in the lime light.  She’s never done anything out of the ordinary, and posting a video pouring water over herself is way out of her comfort zone.   Her best friend, Tommy (Miles Heizer) is off in the distance with is phone ready to record the dare.  Finally, Vee performs the dare, not realizing that she’s wearing a white T-shirt with a very see through bra, and completely exposes herself.

This is a Book vs Movie review of Nerve.  The book, by Jeanne Ryan, published in 2012 as a young adult novel, is completely different from the film that is directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman best known for Catfish and Paranormal Activity 3.    With a budget of $20 million, the film runs 96 mins  and was shot entirely in New York City.  The plot of both remains the same, but the execution and motivations of the characters are vastly different.  Vee, an high school student joins an online game of truth or dare, without the truth part, which sets in motion a high stakes game of life and death.

The only thing that is the same between the novel and the film are the characters names and relationships, and basically that the story is about an online game of dare, where you have to film your dare and post it to the internet for “Watchers” to vote on and where popularity is determined by number of likes and followers.  The game is complete run by watchers, they offer prizes to the players and challenge them with dares.  If they complete the dare, they get the prize.  Because this is an online game created by hackers, the programmer’s  have been able to gain access to everything the players have online, giving the “sponsors” access to information that will make the dare more daring.  For example, there’s one part in the book (not in the movie) where Vee is dared to enter into a room that has been recreated to look and feel exactly like her car that was parked in her garage, one night that she was tired, decided to listen to some music and almost died.  So the dare was for her to sit through that ordeal again.  She freaked out and couldn’t handle it.  This scene was so well developed in the book, and I can see why they left it out from the movie.  It would take too much time to set it up.

This is one time that the book and the film are both great, and the best part of it is that they are different.  You can read the book, and watch the movie and you will get a whole different experience.  I’ll admit that some people might like one over the other, but for me, I truly enjoyed both.  In the movie, I loved the color palette that was used, it gave everything a surreal feel to it and drew me into believing the story.  The acting was also amazing as well as the soundtrack.  And, the book was a page-turner.  The author led me by the hand and kept me wanting more and more.  At times, it was hard to put the book down, I read half of it in one evening.

Both the book and the film are highly recommended.  I would keep it teen rated.  The film is PG-13, some of the subject matter is a bit intense and there are some alcohol related scenes of teens drinking.  All in all, I enjoyed the entertainment.


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