A shy, high school girl Vee (Roberts) is suddenly catapulted into the limelight when she breaks out of her comfort zone and impulsively signs up for Nerve, an adrenaline-fueled competition that streams live over the internet. Young thrill-seekers challenge each other to a series of dares that rapidly escalate from mildly embarrassing to downright deadly, as an anonymous community of “watchers” instigates the action.
Parallel to the virtual reality the world lives in today, “Nerve” boldly introduces the effects of social media addiction disorder – a situation in which a user becomes so obsessed with social media that they spend an inordinate amount of time watching and playing on preferred social site. As Vee is partnered with a mysterious stranger, Ian (Franco), their instant chemistry makes them online stars and fan favorites. As the night wears on, though, Vee alienates her longtime friends and puts her life on the line in pursuit of money and celebrity.
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.”
Each game of Nerve lasts only 24 hours; then a winner is declared and it moves on to the next challengers. “The movie asks the audience the same question Vee asks herself,” says director Schulman. “Are you a watcher or a player? Not just in the game of Nerve, but in life itself. Vee has played it safe her whole life, but Nerve pushes her to take chances, which can be very dangerous. If you play, you may get hurt, or you may win and become a celebrity and make a lot of money. You can take the safe road, or you can take the risk. It’s all up to you.”
Produced by Allison Shearmur, p.g.a. the one behind the young adult blockbuster “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and directed by duo thrill makers Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman who also helmed “Catfish” and “Paranormal Activity 3,” “Nerve” is an action-packed urban adventure based on the popular novel by Jeanne Ryan.
Be a part of this year’s life-changing game when “Nerve” opens July 27 nationwide in cinemas from Pioneer Films.