‘Nerve’ Explores Dangers of Teens Seeking Internet Fame

Photo Credit: Lionsgate

Nerve is an exciting thriller that keeps the audience holding their breath in near-agonizing suspense. The film’s premise fits perfectly with our tech-crazed society of teens, many of whom seek to create their own image or brand through social media. Nerve,  whihc had a $10 million opening weekend at the box office, serves as a warning to the dangers of technology and the boundless path on which some millennials may be headed. On the heels of the virility of the location-based augmented reality game Pokémon Go, this film resonates with the contagiousness affiliated with users adopting the latest tech trends.

Industrious high school senior Vee Delmonico (Emma Roberts) is tired of living life on the sidelines. Pressured by her friends, Vee decides to join Nerve, a popular online game that challenges players to accept a series of dares. It's not long before the adrenaline-fueled competition requires her to perform increasingly dangerous stunts. When Nerve begins to take a sinister turn, Vee finds herself in a high-stakes finale that will ultimately determine her entire future.

Both players and watchers of the interactive game have the opportunity to earn money, but in exchange must surrender access to any personal information on their cellular device. The object of the game is to gain the most “watchers.” The watchers send in dares for the players with an anonymous name. Initially, the dares are rather harmless and quite funny, but later, they quickly become life-threatening as players are charged to lay face-down on a railroad track or stealing an officer’s gun.

With a teen-intended audience, Nerve resonates with the universal experience of trying to prove oneself and the awkwardness of not knowing who you really are. Vee is the shy girl, who is always on the sidelines while her best friend Sydney (Emily Meade) brightly shines in the spotlight.  Ian (Dave Franco) is Vee’s mysterious partner in crime and they quickly form a romance.



This mystery-crime film, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, also pertains online trolling, where people today act as “watchers” while maintaining their anonymity. Despite being stuffed with clichés, plot holes, and consistent sloppy camera effects, Nerve provides an exhilarating summer escape that grants the satisfaction of crushing cowardly trolls.