Logo for the movie Nerve

Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Machine Gun Kelly

Nerve is the ultimate game of "truth or dare", where amateur daredevils compete in an all-or-nothing online game that mines their online history to exploit their wildest dreams - and their deepest fears.


The game is made up of "Players" and "Watchers" – the latter challenge the former to a series of dares which they must complete in order to win huge cash rewards – but the sinister forces behind the game manipulate the options based on the Players’ online history and the dares soon escalate from mildly embarrassing and light-hearted to life-or-death.


Straight-arrow high school senior Vee Delmonico (Emma Roberts) decides to break out of her comfort zone and sign up to play the online phenomenon. What starts as an innocent challenge in a diner soon sees her paired with mysterious partner Ian (Dave Franco), their instant chemistry making them an online sensation. Before the night is over, Vee will have walked out of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in a dress worth thousands of dollars, ridden shotgun through New York City on a tricked-out motorcycle, and alienated her best friend. As their popularity soars and their dares get more challenging, Vee puts her life on the line in pursuit of money and celebrity. A chance discovery about Ian’s past puts Vee’s family’s future at risk as the game turns darker – the possible outcome shifting from ‘win or lose’ to ‘life or death’.


Based on the popular young-adult novel by Jeanne Ryan and directed by MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show Executive Producers Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman, Nerve is both a fast-paced thriller and a razor-sharp examination of the seductive power of social media. “We take a shy girl, sit her in front of the internet, and she’s suddenly inspired to be someone she didn’t have the courage to be yesterday,” says Schulman. “Someone in cyberspace is daring her to be something she may not want to be. Vee goes down the rabbit hole to the dark side of that. The online audience can be powerfully alluring. All of a sudden you’re posting pictures you never would’ve shown anybody, and that’ll catch up with you”.


The more sinister side of the internet seemed like a topic that was ripe for exploration to actress Emma Roberts, who plays Vee. “People are putting their whole lives on the internet today,” she notes. “This movie captures that phenomenon and takes it one step further.” Roberts says she thinks twice now when she uses Instagram, Twitter—or even email. “Nothing’s ever truly private. I think this movie taps into that feeling. Whatever you post can potentially be seen by anyone, whether you want it to be or not.” 


In Nerve, New York City is captured as you’ve never seen it before – viewers get inside Ian’s motorcycle helmet and watch the high-stakes motorcycle ride from the sidelines as though they were filming it on their own phones.


The technology in the film is 10 minutes in the future, but the themes and situations are right this second.