Monday, April 3, 2017

Don't Hang Up is Visually Stylish and Slick But is it Scary?

Interested in knowing my thoughts on directors Alexis Wajsbrot and Damien Macé first feature film Don't Hang Up?

Overprivileged, obnoxious best friends Sam and Brady enjoy video recording themselves while prank calling people and posting the videos online. As the viewer, you immediately roll your eyes because there is nothing likable about Sam and Brady. Nothing. Sam seems like a smart guy but suffers from an identity crisis and he yet somehow clings to Brady. I guess opposites do attract because Brady is rude, ignorant and selfish. The two best "bros" are part of a four-person YouTube type group where they prank call gullible people who take them serious and never hang up. What made the group go viral was a prank call that involved the crew convincing a fearful mother that she and her daughter were in danger of a home intruder. From then on, the crew continued on with their cheesy pranks.

One night, Sam and his girlfriend Peyton go through some drama. Brady decides that Sam shouldn't be staring at Peyton's Facebook-esque fretting. Brady comes up with an idea to cheer up Sam, which involves pizza, beer and pranking call people.

Not too long into the night, Sam and Brady surprisingly receive a call from their end and receive a dose of their own medicine. The mysterious man, Mr. Lee who called the two does not find what they're doing as harmless jokes. At first Sam and Brady immediately dismiss Mr. Lee and try to move on but fail once Mr. Lee reveals names of loved ones, their home address and other personal details. Of course, the two need to start backtracking due to the fact that Mr. Lee is completely serious and has some vendetta against the boys. Mr. Lee has plenty of tricks and a deadly plan for the guys.

It's pretty clear that the Don't Hang Up was inspired by 1990s slashers such as Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legend. The storyline unfortunately doesn't offer anything new and ultimately you can see the surprise way before it occurs. On a positive note Don't Hang Up is entertaining.  The co-directors have a strong background in visual effects and it definitely shows throughout the film. It's very apparent that the co-directors know how to frame a scene with energetic shots. Throughout the film, the shots are smooth and visually stylish, although not scary.

Overall, Don't Hang Up is filled with cliched characters who are in an effective atmosphere filled with suspense. Don't Hang Up has a compelling message that shows bullying and interactive abuse.

2½ out 5 queen skulls!

Still not sure if you want to watch DON'T HANG UP
Check out the trailer below!

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