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Copyright © 2019 Bryn Curt James Hammond © Miami Fox Publishing - All Rights Reserved.

Don't Hang Up (2017) Review

Published on May 19, 2019

Release date

October 22, 2016

Distributor

Vertical Entertainment

Movie

Don't Hang Up

Something new and something borrowed; a group of generic run-of-the-mill teenagers find their lives in stereotypical peril after a prank call goes horribly wrong and they end up on the blade end of the joke!

'Don’t Hang Up' is one of the least original movies to make its way on to the horrorscape in quite some time. Starring a freshman cast that includes Gregg Sulkin (Runaways), Garrett Clayton (King Cobra), Bella Dayne (Humans) and Jack Brett Anderson (Wolf Blood), the film tells the cautionary tale of what could happen if a prank call goes wrong.

 

One of 'Don’t Hang Up'’s major flaws is its unorth-

"Don’t Hang Up is formulaic to the very core but does have a few surprises in store for its target audience." 

odox overuse of four decades’ worth of horror plot bearings with only minor adjustments made when adapting them to their own moral commentary on the disconnect between online activity and real-world repercussion.

Written by Joe Johnson (The Skulls III) and directed by Alexis Wajsbrot (Red Balloon) and Damien Macé (Red Balloon), the film’s concept has been done to death and trots out almost every horror faux pas available to fans of the genre. However, even with the concept treading water throughout, the capable cast is truly the film’s big pay-off.

 

The Joe Johnson material explores the blurred lines of the two worlds colliding with enthusiasm and when the s**t (quickly) hits the fan, turning deadly with the mysterious stranger playing the teenagers at their own game, the claustrophobic levels are turned up to maximum, hat tip to direction from Alexis Wajsbrot and Damien Macé.

 

Johnson’s ideology when he sat down to write this contrived slice of stale popcorn cinema must have been that he’d hoped moviegoers hadn’t seen films such as 'When a Stranger Calls', 'Scream', 'Saw', 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' and Gary Sherman’s 'Lisa' (1990), a film that sees its victim unbeknownst to her fall prey to a serial killer after stalking him by phone, and what begins as a prank turns into a cat-and-mouse game to the death.

 

'Don’t Hang Up' is formulaic to the very core but does have a few surprises in store for its target audience. However, there’s not enough originality in the recycled outfit to warrant 80 minutes of your time. The two leads do manage to pull off the likability factor even though they are not exactly innocent victims. The atmosphere is fitting enough to create an impact to carry the barebones forward and the masked villain of the piece, who doesn’t take long to make his physical presence known, manages to make decent use of his screen time through body language alone, but sadly is generic enough to fall foul of being ultimately forgettable.

'Don’t Hang Up' borrows from several contemporary cult classics and even though it has entwined the commonplace together there is just enough for it to weather the storm of being called a copycat thanks to its solid cast, but will it stand up to repeat viewing? I don’t think so.