Have you ever played Truth or Dare? Nerve is a thriller that uses the same premise except without the truth portion as the tag line states. It’s about an underground open-source app that combines live video-streaming functions and social media features like an “Evil Snapchat” that has people choose to be watchers or players; the watchers vote amongst themselves to decide what the next dare should be and players are paid on completing more and more insane dares. It’s easy to boil the plot down to kids doing stupid things for money but the underlying message is actually a good one. People do and say a lot of things on the Internet they wouldn’t say or do in real life and when they’re identities are hidden and there’s no accountability, they can lose their inhibitions and cause serious harm to others.
The movie focuses on a shy high school senior named, Venus “Vee” Delmonico (Emma Roberts) who joins Nerve looking to take some risk in her life after being humiliated by her best friend Sydney (Emily Meade). Her first dare is to kiss a stranger for five seconds, which turns out to be another player by the name of Ian (Dave Franco). The watchers quickly pair them up to complete a series of tasks that brings them escalating payouts.
I’m sure it won’t change how people interact online and at times the movie may seem a little ridiculous (ex. phone batteries never die) but the shear energy and its compelling perception on our current digital culture and the crave for instant fame through social media is a delightful summer treat.
It’s a thriller suitable for the age of Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. It’s an adrenaline-fueled movie that will make for a fun night out.