Walking into Nerve, I had little-to-no expectations. I like Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, but the trailers were not too promising. Luckily, I found myself pleasantly surprised, as Nerve is an entertaining popcorn flick that is a mix of David Fincher’s underrated The Game and the great horror flick Unfriended, with a little of The Truman Show thrown in for good measure.
Nerve revolves around an online game which sees people participating, either as ‘Watchers’ or ‘Players’, in a series of adrenaline-fuelled dares that become increasingly dangerous. Nerve is the type of film that can only be enjoyed if you leave your brain at the door and enjoy it for what it is: a solid Friday-night flick. Although it does try to comment on society’s perverse obsession with watching others, whether its porn or reality TV, the film is at its best when it embraces its ridiculous nature and runs wild with it.
The film’s visuals are simply stunning, particularly with the neon/fluorescent colour palette that represents the adolescent lifestyle, much like the controversial Spring Breakers did. Emma Roberts and Dave Franco share some good chemistry, although their individual roles could honestly be played by anyone.
Unfortunately, much like many Hollywood films, the film falls down, quite significantly in its final act. The last act feels like the filmmakers ran out of steam and were unsure about where the story was going. There is one moment, which I won’t spoil, towards the end of the film, that will most definitely frustrate audiences and feels like a real cop-out. In the end, what Nerve really lacks is edge and ironically, it plays it much too safe.