Nerve: Are You a Watcher or a Player?


Picture by Mustafa Elmahdi

   Nerve is directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, whom also conducted big production movies such as Paranormal Activity and Catfish. The two thrive in their directing careers as they often work together to create these successful movies. Ariel and Henry produce different genres of films from horror to mystery and crime.

   Emma Roberts and Dave Franco take the lead roles in Nerve. Roberts plays the role of Vee and Franco is casted as Ian. Vee starts off as a very shy and modest character. However, as she gets into the game of Nerve, she starts to become a more adventurous and daring person. Ian is a fearless and bold character from the start to the end of the film. Despite his boldness, there are some elements of mystery that Ian exudes because he does not speak much about his past.  

   Nerve is a game similar to “truth-or-dare,” except that it involves money. This game is portrayed as highly addictive as well as extremely dangerous. The teen crowds are attracted to this new form of social media, which causes an outbreak in crime and even death. These teens are given a choice of being a “player” or a “watcher.” If one is a watcher, they will be part of the crowd that creates the various dares for the players. The players are the ones who perform the dares and film it for the watchers to see. They have a choice to go through with the dare and earn money, or decline the dare and lose money. These dares include hanging off a high building, riding a motorcycle blindfolded, or even stealing from a high-end store.

   This film portrays the use of technology and social media that most teens use nowadays.  It is almost like a more high-tech version of The Hunger Games. The society is forcing people to do activities out of their comfort zone for the enjoyment of others. In The Hunger Games, the contestants are forced to outlive one another to provide entertainment for the Capitol. In Nerve, the players are forced to go through with (sometimes) life-threatening dares to entertain the watchers.

   Nerve is overall very thrilling and intriguing to watch. The audience can see what society and technology is doing to us and how it can be affecting us in a bad way. This movie teaches us that you should never let society and technology control you in any way or manner, as it can lead to a very dangerous outcome.