Do you have the nerve?

Directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost (Paranormal Activity 3 & 4 and the ground-breaking Catfish) deliver this social media savvy thriller in a flurry of neon colours.

In the space of 24 hours, young citizens of New York compete in the viral game ‘Nerve’, in which “players” strive to complete crazy watcher-submitted dares and the “watchers” pay to view the madness. As the cash reward for completing dares climbs higher, the challenges become increasingly difficult and frightening – and potentially fatal.

During an emotional revolt against her outgoing friends, shy girl Vee (Emma Roberts) joins Nerve as a player. Beginning her rebellious journey with the simple dare of kissing a stranger, she crosses paths with fellow player Ian (Dave Franco). Their meeting has disastrous consequences, however, as they rise higher on the leader board and become ‘insta-famous’.

Nerve maintains a great level of energy, blending its visual assault with witty jokes and a catchy soundtrack to compensate for narrative flaws and one-dimensional characters.

As a cautionary tale on social media encouraging reckless behaviour, Nerve fails as a thriller, but as a teen flick it works tremendously. Moreover, the believability of Nerve becoming a reality is where it really hits the mark – Pokémon GO anyone?

So as we await the inevitable to become a reality, ponder the question – are you a watcher or are you a player?

In cinemas: September 1, 2016star-3
Starring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Emily Meade
Directed by: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman