Running Time: 96 minutes
Director: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
Featuring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Emily Meade, Juliette Lewis
“Are you a watcher? Or are you a player?”
This week see the release of the thriller “Nerve” featuring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco headlining a movie aimed at audience that has been spoilt for horrors this year, particularly with last months “Lights Out” (2016). Whereas the former film was a breath of originality and true horror, this films story has been told many times before one way or another in the low budget horror world. The one film that I could not stop thinking about was the highly regarded “Cheap Thrills” (2013) which treads similar themes but on a much lower budget and one locale.
“Nerve” finds student Vee (Emma Roberts), watching her high school life seemingly pass her by, that is, until she finds the online game ‘Nerve’, which challenges her to accept a series of dares each more intense than the last, its not until its too late that she realizes that there is no way out and she finds herself battling to survive just to make it thought the night. On the way she meets Ian (Franco) a player who possibly knows more than he is letting on.
The film progresses well and there are enough thrills to keep the audience engaged for the most part, but this is exactly what you would expect from the directors whose previous highlights have been directing two films in the “Paranormal Activity” series.
The color scape that is used is primarily green, blue and red, these show up time and again, and it can be wearisome on the eyes, but it does make each scene seem important and may allude to a depth the movie was going for, missing in the actual plot. It is nice to know, speaking of the plot, that the story can have a nice neat ending that helps all the characters move on with their lives, and to move past all of their obstacles both within the game and of course in their personal lives.
When genre films like this come along it is up to the main characters to keep you wanting more in the story and luckily the producers had the foresight to cast the always-likeable Emma Roberts and Dave Franco in the role of protagonists. It is the these two that we are really here to see and Roberts shines as the always watching and now must acting student – I think this may be one of the last roles we see her in before she starts spreading her wings into heavier affairs. Franco on the other hand is as usual a kinetic mess which I love – I have been a fan of Franco for ages and think he has more personality and smarts than the characters he plays have – I would like to see him in more thoughtful affairs but would still watch him in anything.
If you like easy breezy thrillers with a hint of darkness then this is the film for you. Enjoy and maybe you might think twice before involving yourself online again.