Nerve is based on the novel of the same name by Jean Ryan and directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Viral).
This is very much a thriller for the modern age, playing on our potential fears about the potential for apps and anonymous users to control our destiny.
“Are you a Watcher or a Player?”
Vee (Emma Roberts – We’re The Millers) is a high school senior, living with her mother Nancy (Juliette Lewis – August Osage County, Secrets and Lies) and permanently in the shadow of her dead brother.
Her best friend Sydney (Emily Meade – Money Monster, That Awkward Moment) has started playing the latest internet craze, an online game called Nerve. You get to choose whether to be a Watcher or Player. Watcher’s pay a fee and Players are paid in cash to complete dares chosen by the Watchers..
Under pressure from her peers to try something a bit risky for once, she agrees to sign up to the game just for one dare. Against the better judgement of her friend Tommy (Miles Heizer – Parenthood) he agrees to take her to a diner to kiss a stranger for five seconds for her first dare.
The stranger in question turns out to be Ian (Dave Franco – Now You See Me 2, The Lego Movie), a fellow player. The Watchers enjoy their interaction and so set the challenge for them to go to the city together to begin another series of dares.
This is where things begin to get serious as the dares get progressively more risky and dangerous and they have to decide whether to trust each other and whether or not to bail and lose all the money they have already won.
Nerve is enjoyable to watch and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is helped out by a good degree of realism and a general feeling of paranoia about how youngsters are growing up in a world largely controlled by apps and social media.
The acting is good and the story keeps you guessing right to the ending credits. I would recommend this one to add to your collection.
“Don’t you guys realise you’re still responsible for what happens tonight, even if you’re just watching?”
Nerve is available to buy now on DVD and Blu-ray.