Director: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
Starring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Emily Meade, Miles Heizer, Juliette Lewis
Running Time: 96mins
When shy, retiring, inward Venus, Vee to her friends, sees her friend Sydney get involved in a mysterious online game of dare she gets slowly drawn into the game herself.
The online game of Nerve is an open source, crowd-powered game involving Watchers and Players. The Watchers pay to watch and create dares for the Players to complete for money. What starts out as small gradually morphs into something far more serious and as the prize money goes up so does the danger and the thrill, and more importantly to the players so does the number of Watchers. And all of this is willingly and addictively lapped up by the teenagers and young adults with too much time on their hands. More viewers equates to more money and then to more danger and so it goes, on and on until someone bails (decides not to do the dare and loses all their money earned so far), fails (tries the dare but doesn’t make it and is out of the game).
Nerve is a really good adrenaline building film, it takes a while it’s time to really ramp it up but it gets there and maintains that stress level until the final scene. The dialogue is well done for a teen-themed film, interactions seem authentic and reasons well thought through. Vee (Emma Roberts) and Ian (Dave Franco) have some good chemistry and are well paired and it is great to see Juliette Lewis playing the responsible parent, such a turn around from a lot of her back catalogue! Visually it is really well done; vibrant colours are evident but the most impressive thing is the really inventive use of camera phone capabilities to capture the Players in their act, otherwise it doesn’t count. Nice overlay effects to show what is happening on their mobile phone screens doesn’t overpower the on screen action.
Overall, Nerve is a really enjoyable, fast paced thrill of a film. Perfect for a night-in with it’s simple premise, plenty of action and decent story line. The ending felt a little rushed to me but that doesn’t really take away from the overall feeling of the film. Chill out, relax and enjoy this one.