Directors: Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost Starring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco Running Time: 96 minutes
The premise of Nerve, where teenagers play a super popular smartphone game that can make you a viral sensation or send you wandering thoughtlessly into harms way, has managed to become more plausible in the time between its conception and its release. In the game Nerve you’re either a Player; your life on display to the whole world, taking on dares for cash, or a Watcher; suggesting the dares, giving the money and commenting lewdly and anonymously. Directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost have a decent grasp on how young people engage with technology. They also know how our morality becomes murky when we can hide who we are online (they previously directed Catfish). Their film is at its best when they use that knowledge to show why a game like this would appeal to teens and struggles when its time to learn a Valuable Lesson.