Nerve: Skip The Book, Watch The Movie


I read Nerve not too long ago in preparation for this movie, and unfortunately, it fell flat when compared to the thrilling trailers releasing for the film. I'm happy to say that when I finally got the chance to watch Nerve with a friend, it didn't disappoint in the least. For one, it totally stressed out my friend - which I think could be called a success - and though I was lounging in my seat the entire time, metaphysically, I was on the edge of my seat.

I think one of the greatest things about this movie in particular is that it is almost significantly different from what happens in the book. Lately I've noticed that movie adaptations are literally the book in movie form, and watching the movie becomes simply like reading the book a second time. In the past, I would have loved this, but as I've grown older, I've come to realize that when the movie is exactly the same as the book, it is boring. With this film, however, even though I read the book a couple of weeks ago, I was constantly guessing what was going to happen next, and also had no clue what would take place by the end of the book. It was like reading a better version of the book, and I honestly enjoyed every moment of the plot.

Along the same lines, one of the differences between the book and the movie is that the dares are so much more thrilling (read: interesting) when compared to the rather lames ones readers are given in the book. In the novel, the dares are, for example, pour a beverage on yourself in a cafe, pretend to be a prostitute - that one was actually strangely interesting - go make fun of a bunch of religious kids, etc. With the movie though, everything was on a much higher level. I won't spoil anything for those of you who haven't watched it yet, but trust me when I say that these dares won't put you to sleep.

The one thing that probably puts this movie on a much higher level than the book is undoubtedly the more dynamic and less generic main characters, as well as their backstories. One of the main problems I had with the book was that none of the characters were fleshed out, which kept me from becoming fully immersed in the novel. In the movie, the characters had much more depth, and, just to take an example, Ian had much more going on with him than simply being a love interest for Vee. Similarly, Vee was not just a run-of-the-mill shy girl who suddenly wanted to do all these dares for shoes and money - no, she was realistic in that she wasn't always comfortable with doing these crazy things for cash. These things made it so much easier to relate to the characters, and thus, made for an entertaining and intriguing movie.

Overall, I thought that the flow of the movie plus the well-developed characters made much more sense than the lackluster...everything in the book. Every aspect of the movie is there for a reason, and unlike with the book, there are not major pieces of the story that go unexplained or are skimmed over for the sake of something or the other. The dares are crazy, but there's a reason for them - I was satisfied. If you're on the edge of choosing whether to watch the movie, read the book, or do both, then take my advice and go straight to the movie. You won't regret it.


Rating: ★★★

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