Film ReviewsThriller

Nerve: The Next Generation of The Game


DIRECTED BY: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

STARRING: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Juliette Lewis

GENRE: Techno, Thriller, Adventure

YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY: United States

Venus is a hard-working high school senior, focused, with drive and a pending scholarship at CalArts, the esteemed art school in California, that would help her spread her wings and leave Staten Island, her homeplace. Diffident enough and constantly in the shadow of her popular friend Sydney, Venus will be enticed by the notoriously hardcore reality online game “Nerve”, and accept to become, for once in her life, a “player” instead of a mere “watcher”. However, Venus is definitely not an adrenaline junkie, so by leaving her comfort zone, she will be gradually lured into an ongoing wave of incrementally difficult assignments, all contrived by the “watchers'” hungry appetite for thrills and excitement. When Venus accepts to kiss Ian, a random guy who turns out to be another “Nerve” player, the “watchers” will not be able to get enough of the couple, demanding to team up against an all-night, white-knuckle truth or dare adventure all over town. Inevitably, as the game insidiously claims Vee’s personal life and friends, she will have to face one relentless dilemma: how far is she willing to go to win back her life?

Nerve is yet another one of those random films you catch in your queue that is just so odd an eye-popping that you have to give it a shot. Upon first glance, it seems to take a concept that I particularly enjoy as in a part of the Internet (merely a concept) that people enjoy/binge and bring it into the real light. For the most part, Nerve hit most of the beats on the surface with some solid acting from Roberts and Franco, while also putting off a fun yet uncomfortable feeling about the future of my generation. Is this where we are heading? Probably.

Despite the film having plenty of charm on the surface, it is just barely enough to hide some fundamental flaws. While it isn’t necessarily a major flaw, make sure you don’t take Nerve seriously as it is meant to be a satire of our future. There are many moments that are beyond ridiculous and campy, but they move by relatively quickly and Nerve fails to balance the absurd with the fledgling story that the team is trying to produce. There also isn’t a steady flow of action pushing the story forward, as our sacrificial lambs (Nerve players) just keep moving on with the next dare.


  • Solid main cast performance.
  • Soundtrack.
  • Cinematography.
  • Casey Neistat!


  • Poor attempt at satire.
  • Can’t strike proper balance.
  • Flow of action.

SCORE: 6 / 10

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Brandon Stuhr

Who am I? Just some guy who decided to start writing on the Internet years ago and now operates his own brand and site. Owner/Operator of Modern Neon Media, I make all kinds of niche content to suit my interests at the time. DIY Enthusiast, Brewmaster extraordinaire, and avid freak for geek culture. Follow on my socials for a more "on" version of me.

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