There have been plenty of horror movies that have revolved around a very common device called the telephone… movies like When a Stranger Calls, Black Christmas, One Missed Call and obviously Wes Craven’s 1996 epic slasher film Scream. Is this concept getting too old to keep getting used? Or did 2017’s Don’t Hang Up bring something new to the table? Let’s discuss!
Written by Joe Johnson and directed by Alexis Wajsbrot and Damien Mace, Don’t Hang Up had its world premiere on June 4, 2016, at the Los Angeles Film Festival. However, the film didn’t have its theatrical debut until February 10, 2017. Don’t Hang Up has a mixed bag of reviews as well as a 30% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.9/10 on IMDb.com. Why the torn reviews? Maybe I can help break it down!
“Following a long tradition of cocky teenage boys with too much time on their hands, Brady, Sam and Mosley like to amuse themselves by making prank calls. However, their cellular diversions are intensified by the extreme nature of the pranks they put their unsuspecting victims through, and the delight and encouragement they receive when they post videos of their hijinks online for maximum humiliation. Having pushed the wrong person too far, they find themselves on the other side of a call, and an evening intended for normal high school revelry turns increasingly bloody as their unknown assailant ramps up a prank of his own.”
I just want to say that I loved the fact that this film brought the cordless phone into modern times. Don’t Hang Up took me back to my early high school days. The only difference is the pranks in this film were way more elaborate then calling someone and asking them if their refrigerator is running. I would expect some psycho to be after me, too, if I pulled the shit they did. Concept wise, this movie is great. The two leads, Sam (Gregg Sulkin) and Brady (Garrett Clayton), played well off of each other as well as against one another – not to mention that they are pretty easy on the eyes. The cast is, without a doubt, gorgeous. There are also some bloody fun scenes. I also enjoyed the cat and mouse game feel of the movie.
What Didn’t Work
Yes, I understand that Don’t Hang Up is a horror film. With that being said, the predictability was bothersome. I was hoping that there was going to be some great twist but the film ended up being more somewhat like the film Unfriended. Also, the typical horror movie cliches are all present in this one. You will either be shouting at the TV that the characters are stupid or just rolling your eyes at their plain ignorance. I would have liked to see more of The Pranksters in action aside from just Brady and Sam. I would also like to know how the killer is so technologically advanced.
Just because Don’t Hang Up is predictable and cliche does not mean it’s still not enjoyable to watch. It has elements of other horror movies, but what scary film doesn’t? Some of the things – like the pranks – are really fresh and unique. It has its intense bloody fun moments. One scene involving the pizza delivery boy will have you gasping! All and all, it is a fun watch. “Don’t get hung up” on the classic cliches and I believe you will enjoy this one!