- "We dare you"
- ―Nerve's tagline
Nerve is a 2016 American thriller film based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Jeanne Ryan. The film stars Emma Roberts, Dave Franco and Juliette Lewis, and revolves around high school senior Vee, who finds herself immersed in an online game of truth of dare, where her every move starts to become manipulated by an anonymous community of "Watchers." The film had it's world premiere in New York on July 12, 2016.
A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly.
Industrious high school senior Vee Delmonico has had it with living life on the sidelines. When pressured by friends to join the popular online game NERVE, Vee decides to sign up for just one dare in what seems like harmless fun. But as she finds herself caught up in the thrill of the adrenaline-fueled competition partnered with a mysterious stranger, the game begins to take a sinister turn with increasingly dangerous acts, leading her into a high stakes finale that will determine her entire future.
High school senior Venus 'Vee' Delmonico longs to leave her home, Staten Island, for college, but is afraid to tell her mother about her admission to California Institute of the Arts, as her mother is still grieving from the death of Vee's brother.
Vee's friend Sydney becomes popular in NERVE: an online reality game where people either enlist online as 'Players' or pay to watch as 'Watchers'. Players accept dares from Watchers, receiving money rewards. Sydney and her other friends chastise Vee's unadventurous nature. When Vee refuses to talk to her crush JP, Sydney approaches JP herself and reveals that Vee is interested in him. JP rebuffs her, and Vee decides to sign up for NERVE as a Player.
The game collects her personal data and explains the three rules: all dares must be recorded on the Player's phone, earned money will be revoked if a Player fails or bails a dare, and a Player must not report the game to law enforcement. In addition, the top two most-watched Players will compete in a highly sought-after final round. Vee's first dare is to kiss a stranger at a diner for five seconds. Vee kisses Ian, who reveals that he too is a Player.
After performing a series of dares, Vee and Ian are among NERVE's top Players. Jealous at Vee's rise of popularity on NERVE, Sydney accepts a dare to walk across a ladder suspended between two buildings. Whilst performing the dare, she drops her phone and due to her becoming scared, bails out and so loses the game.
Ian takes Vee to Sydney's party and Vee catches her in bed with JP. After arguing with Sydney, Vee receives and completes a dare to finish Sydney's dare. Vee's friend Tommy reveals that he was watching Ian's profile; Ian had accepted a dare to make Vee and Sydney fight. Vee reports the game to the police. As punishment, all money is drained from Vee's bank account, and her mother's. She is then attacked by elite player Ty.
Ian confesses that he and Ty were players before, until their friend was killed in a dare. When they tried to alert the authorities, their families' jobs, bank accounts, and identities were confiscated, trapping them in the secret third category of the game: 'Prisoners'. Vee is now a Prisoner too, and only the winner of the final round can regain their identity.
Vee, Tommy, and Sydney recruit Tommy's computer hacker friend to alter the game's online code. After hanging from a crane for five seconds (the same dare that killed his friend), Ian too earns a a spot in the finals, which take place in an abandoned stadium. Vee and Ian are each given a revolver; one must shoot the other to win. Ian offers to throw the competition, but Ty jumps from the audience and takes Ian's place. Vee criticizes the Watchers, whose identity are concealed behind masks and tells them to show "nerve" and reveal themselves.The Watchers then cast a vote regarding if Ty should kill Vee. The majority vote is 'yes', and Ty shoots Vee.
Tommy and his hackers modify NERVE's source code to decrypt the Watcher's code names and send them a message: 'You are an accessory to murder'. All Watchers immediately log out of NERVE, ending the game (as everyone signed into NERVE acts as a server, and thus keeps the game online). Vee is unharmed; she and Ty had staged her murder to scare the Watchers into disbanding NERVE. Everyone's money and identities are restored.
A few months later, Vee and Sydney have reconciled, Vee and Ian are a couple, and Vee is attending California Arts. Ian reveals that his real name is Sam. (adapted from Wikipedia)
- Vee Delmonico, the main protagonist and player of Nerve.
- Ian (real name Sam), Vee's partner and fellow player in Nerve.
- Ty, Vee's main opponent in Nerve.
- Nancy Delmonico, Vee's mother.
- Sydney Sloane, one of Vee's best friends and a player of Nerve.
- Tommy Mancuso, one of Vee's best friends who has an unrequited crush on her.
- Liv Kurosawa, one of Vee's friends and a watcher of Nerve.
- Wes, one of Vee's friends and a watcher of Nerve.
- Azhar, leader of the hackers.
- Chuck, a member of the football team.
- JP Guerrero, a member of the football team who Vee has a crush on.
- Casey Neistat, a player of Nerve.
- Emma Roberts
- Dave Franco
- Machine Gun Kelly (Credited as Colson Baker)
- Juliette Lewis
- Emily Meade
- Miles Heizer
- Kimiko Glenn
- Marc John Jefferies
- Samira Wiley
- Ed Squires
- Brian Marc
- Casey Neistat
- In the opening scene, when Vee logs into her Gmail account, an email notification from Facebook can be seen notifying her that 'Ariel Shulman replied to your comment on Henry Joost’s photo.'
- Ariel Shulman and Henry Joost are the directors of Nerve.
- When using NERVE on her MacBook, Vee taps the screen and uses it like a touchscreen - despite the fact that no MacBook has touch screen capability.
- Similarly, when creating a NERVE account, Vee is prompted to provide her thumb print; she does so by placing her thumb over her phone's camera, which is unlikely to be able to register her thumbprint.
- Throughout the film there is a lack of continuity with the NERVE game interface; during some scenes users can be seen tapping the screen to perform functions such as 'sign out' or 'accept dare' and in other scenes users are seen swiping the screen to perform the same functions.
- In an early draft of the script, Sydney was challenged to a sex related dare, however this was written out in order to keep the film's PG-13 rating.