Nerve (2016) – Honest Review

Modern day thrillers are often dull, boring affairs that contradict their very purpose, with many of them being re-hashed ideas that have been done dozens of times in the past. This one was an imaginative breath of fresh air.

The adventure based on Jeanne Ryan’s novel of the same title, centres around a high school senior named Vee, played by Emma Roberts (Scream Queens, American Horror Story) as she finds herself immersed in an illegal game of truth or dare, in order to push her limits and make some money while doing it. However, Vee soon learns that there is more than money at stake as she is drawn deeper and deeper into the twisted game.

While I won’t spoil any key points in the story-line, what I can say is that it is very well thought out and almost bone-chillingly realistic. Seriously, you can actually picture the game from the film being used by the youth of your local city. Think of it as Pokémon Go, except instead of Pokémon, it’s filled with chances to get yourself into an early grave.

The camera work and style of film making used by director Jessica Sharzer is very eye-catching, and the constant use of neon in the lighting fits the tone of the film very well. Circling back to the camera work though, some of the more intense, heart-pounding thrill scenes are shot to perfection, with a real sense of impending doom looming throughout them, honestly, the thrills in this movie will have you covering your eyes on the edge of your seat.

Let’s talk about the acting performances, as I have previously mentioned, Emma Roberts has the lead, and she is accompanied by Dave Franco (Now You See Me, Bad Neighbours) as the mysterious thrill-seeker Ian. Both provide good performances, however, their scenes can sometimes be a little on the cringe-worthy side, though direction and screenplay may be more to blame for this. Singer Machine Gun Kelly also makes his big-budget picture debut, as deranged, leather-clad, Nerve-player, Ty, and to be fair to “MGK” (whose real name is Colson Baker) he did pull the roll of quite convincingly. There aren’t many faults with the performances of any of the supporting cast members either, each of them doing their job by ensuring the plot moves forward at an entertaining an reasonable pace.

My one fault, as I have mentioned, is that some scenes involving Roberts and Franco can becoming cringe-worthy on occasion. Some of the lines and actions of certain characters can come across this way throughout the film, either because they were unrealistic, or did not fit the actor portraying the character. This is a very small fault though, and it does not really effect the film, in fact it will be all-but unnoticeable to those who do not cringe easily.

In conclusion, I would say that while Nerve can be slightly cringe-worthy at certain points, this is overshadowed by the fresh, interesting concept, gripping story-line, and chest-thumping thrill scenes.

I rate this film: 8/10


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