How far are you willing to go to win a game?
Vee (Emma Roberts), another ordinary high school senior in Staten Island, is sucked into a competition that emerges out of the deep, dark web. The game is called Nerve and operates through a smartphone app. This underground game has two modes: player and watcher. The teenage universe Vee then navigates is a maelstrom of feelings tainted by insecurity together with the intense desire to be noticed. These feelings become clearer as Vee goes further into the game.
The first dare Vee has is to kiss a stranger at a diner. Once she arrives, she sets her sights on Ian (Dave Franco), who is reading “To the Lighthouse.” However, this turns out to be no coincidence since Sidney [who is Sidney?] has listed Virginia Woolf’s novel as her all-time favorite on her Facebook-profile. The anonymous watchers controlling the game think Ian and Vee make a nice couple, so they’ve been sent on dares together. This themeevolves through the movie.
The movie manages to make the viewer reflect upon how we personally use the Internet, especially Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and other similar social media. Vee picked Ian for her dare because he sat with her favorite book; a book that she had listed on her Facebook-profile. This movie manages to show the consequences of what can happen and how easy it is to access personal information when people put their entire lives on display.
This movie also manages to capture how we all are living in an “always-online-time” era and illustrates how people can lose track of reality as soon as the game is a part of the reality.
Furthermore, I think, the movie reveals an excellent point at its conclusion – even though people (watchers) are hiding behind the anonymous Internet, they are still a part of it. At the end when confronted with the consequences of their act, people sign out.
Nerve illustrates in a comic way how the Internet has become a gladiatorial arena of fame and followers to feel accepted. The movie is like the game itself – it is hard to stop watching – even when you know it’s playing you.
I rate it 7 stars out of 10 stars since I believe it points to some important issues we are facing in our society today.
Director: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
Release date: September 2, 2016
Text: Marie Søndergaard