Movie Review: Nerve


I love movies that take modern technology and run with it, and Nerve is that, at its core - I'd describe it as Gossip Girl meets Hunger Games meets The Purge, minus all of the killing - and as a millennial who uses social media a little bit too much, I really enjoyed it.

Vee (Emma Roberts, TV's Scream Queens) is tired of living a sheltered life. Her best friend, Sydney (Emily Meade) just signed up for Nerve, a game that's described as "truth or dare, without the truth" - the game sends her dares to do, and if she does them, she gets money, as well as the chance to compete in the finals. Sydney wants Vee to sign up as a Watcher - part of what makes the game so popular, in that people record all of these dares in real time, and the person with the most Watchers advances - and Vee says she will, until an incident one day makes her rethink her life, and she signs up as a Player instead. Soon, the game pairs her with Ian (Dave Franco), and the two of them embark on a crazy path that will have a surprising ending.

I didn't know that Nerve is actually based on a book, of the same name, and I definitely want to read it now to see how different it is from the movie, because the movie was excellent. As a senior in high school, we played a similar (but much more tame game) involving super soakers, and it was only for seniors and wasn't to be talked about outside of the game (oops); Nerve reminded me of that but much more of an extreme. Roberts and Franco were terrific in their roles, too, as was Meade, who reminded me of a young Blair Waldorf; we also have two Orange is the New Black cast members here, Kimiko Glenn as a friend of Vee's and Samira Wiley as a hacker whom one of Vee's friends enlists to help get the game taken offline.

Yes, see this film, although I'm guessing it will appeal more to the millennial and 30-something demographic. The movie has a fantastic soundtrack, as well, with songs by Halsey and other artists present. The only reason I'm not giving this movie 5 out of 5 stars is that I found it a bit unbelievable that the police wouldn't get involved at ALL - in one scene, Vee decides to "narc" and go to the police, and the only thing the policeman does it ask if anything illegal is going on, to which she answers no; I would think they'd at least check out what she was talking about. Other than that, I found this film to be very unique and also very well done, and it's a movie I'd watch again a second or even third time on Blu-ray.

Nerve is in theaters today, July 27th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 96 minutes. 4.5 stars out of 5.

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