By Liz Lopez
In today’s world, if there is a need or desire for something, it is not long before someone develops a way to resolve or respond and present it via technology. “There is an app for that” is a frequent response you will hear from individuals who are tech savy and keep up with their mobile devices all the time. The same goes for entertainment and the development of numerous games to play. Some games may be innocent and simple entertainment, but the novel by Jeanne Ryan, Nerve, serves as the basis to show it is anything but that in the screenplay adapted by Jessica Sharzer for the feature film co-directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Catfish, the 2010 documentary).
Nerve is certainly a thriller and one story that kept me on the edge of my seat once the young high school senior, Vee (Emma Roberts), decides to stray away from her “good girl” personality to one that has more edge. Partaking in the web based game challenges the “player” to accept more dares as proposed by the many “watchers” who are paying to be a part of this competition. Anything with heights would certainly send me into “failure” in the game, and there are a few scenes that might cause viewers to want to look away or close their eyes while players take the challenge. While I was entertained, I can’t say that it is a film that I would watch repeatedly, but it certainly highlights how so many people of various ages socialize with technology. The dark side of this entertainment appears when people selectively forget that there are real people at the core of the “game” and they are not just video characters.
In Nerve, Vee (Roberts) is a high school photographer with a conservative personality who has set her sights on attending the California Institute of the Arts, but her mother, Nancy (Juliette Lewis), is not ready to let her take flight from home. Her best friend, Syd (Emily Meade), is the complete opposite of Vee as she loves attention and being in the limelight. A school cheerleader, Syd is an active “player” in the web game titled “Nerve” and is collecting plenty of dollars for acting on dares and needless to say, loves that she has so many “followers”. When Syd approaches Vee’s secret crush without her consent, J.P (Brian Marc), his response is crushing and Syd’s action drives a wedge in the girl’s friendship. Vee reacts by signing on for the dares that are to come from the game and seems to be thrilled when she meets Ian (Dave Franco), but soon after things spiral down to places she never dreamed of.
Other the many cast members include Colson Baker (also known as Machine Gun Kelly), Miles Heizer, Kimiko Glenn, Samira Wiley, and Marc John Jefferies.
The film is rated PG-13 and has a running time of 96 minutes and opens in theaters nationwide on Wednesday, July 27th.