Don't Hang Up Review
Don't Hang Up
Don't Hang Up (2017) is a horror film directed by Alexis Wajsbot and written by Joe Johnson. The film stars Greg Sulkin of Pretty Little Liars fame and Garret Clayton. The film premiered in the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival and was released in theaters on February 10, 2017. The plot follows two friends who prank call random people for followers on social media. Eventually, they go too far and prank call the wrong person. Now, they must survive while the caller stalks them inside a house.
I rarely recommend that a film not be seen because I believe every movie has its redeeming qualities; So, that's where I'll start. The movie does a good job with setting up a real, scary premise. A group of friends are social media addicts and gain followers by posting poor tasting pranks. The beginning of the film includes a rather well put together scene. A mother is woken up out of her sleep in the middle of the night. She's told her child is in danger and is severely traumatized. The scene ends with a cut to Sam (Gregg Sulkin) and Brady (Garrett Clayton) laughing hysterically. From this point on, the film devolves into B-horror, camp territory.
The cinematography is annoying and distracting. Many times will the camera zoom in to reveal information that is clearly visible. The zooming is done quickly and causes disorientation. In addition, the camera also flies throughout the house like a spaceship. Overall, the camera's movements are nonsensical and takes away from the film.
The characters' immaturity leaves little to no room for sympathy. The best thing you want for a horror film is for the characters to come off at least somewhat likeable. Greg and his friends are typical dude-bros and won't garner any sympathy because even for high school students their level of maturity is extremely lacking. If anything happens to them, you will not care. And what is a horror film if you don't care if anyone dies.
As mentioned before, many of the film's "scary" elements are camp and deteriorate into comedy. The voice of the killer is overly creepy and borderline hilarious at times. The acting is terrible at most parts, breaking the tension. And the idiotic actions of the characters contrast dreadfully with the real life situation of the plot. Maybe, this film is a horror-comedy.
Don't Hang Up had all the parts to a good horror film but didn't know how to assemble it. The campy nature of the movie gives way to any amount of tension. The camera is too inconsistent and jumpy to keep anyone's attention. The unsympathetic characters turn the movie into a bore and the movie relies on jump scares for its frightening moments. If you're to watch this film, you'll be happy to find out the third act (last 15 minutes) are the movie's best. Unfortunately, the whole film couldn't be the third act.