Nerve

By Angie Raphael

At the very least, everyone between the age of 13 and 25 should probably see this thrilling and provocative film, which serves as a cautionary tale about teenagers seeking instant fame. Nerve holds a mirror up to young viewers to depict a frightening truth about the excessive use of social media and phone apps. It may be completely fictitious, but it makes some important points about the direction youth culture is headed. Based on Jeanne Ryan's novel, Nerve is about introverted high school senior Vee (Emma Roberts) who, in an attempt to come out of her shell and have some fun, starts playing an online game of dares, and meets Ian (Dave Franco) along the way. But as the dares escalate in intensity, Vee soon starts being manipulated by an anonymous community of “watchers” and it all becomes far too dangerous. Franco and Roberts knew each other before making this film and their comfort with each other boosts their chemistry. Aspects of the story are definitely far-fetched and the ending is a bit of a mess, but directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman keep the film tight at about 95 minutes. Most importantly, Nerve is surprisingly entertaining and shows how out of control peer pressure can become, especially with technology at everyone's fingerprints. 


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