In the age of Saw it is difficult to make a well constructed smart horror, the eight sequels have failed adding nothing more than gore porn. Don’t Hang Up decently recreates smart horror in more of a reproduction than homage but what movie is not a duplicate from the story that preceded it?
Two high school pranksters similar to Impractical Jokers and mass Youtube stars have a mean spirited way of causing questionably comical hoaxes against strangers, their internet popularity and poor taste in material soon delivers them unwanted attention. At first the boys react in disdain with condescending responses but soon find out their mysterious caller is not joking around and demands to be taken seriously with fatal consequences if they do not abide.
Don’t Hang Up does its best to bring back elements first introduced in Scream without dramatically ripping it off, with the feeling of isolation and survival in both Panic Room and Phone Booth with the deep voiced charismatic caller forcing them into compromising situations.
Not the best acting but I have seen worse in 80’S and 90’s horror that I enjoyed just as well, though building the protagonists into douchey high schoolers with a habit of crank calling individuals with no repercussions does hurt the idea that the audience needs to sympathize with them once the antagonist begins his supposedly well designed plot to enact havoc on their lives.
Not horror in the sense of jump scares and fear but in the aspect that these boys are in a situation you are glad that you are not a part of with a story that wraps around to the beginning for a nice package. There possibly should have been subtle hints placed throughout the movie regarding the intertwined setup instead of one giant heap of reveal though the finale is impactful as well as enjoyable. There is glaring implausibility but then again it is horror and reasoning needs to be suspended sometimes to savor the overall message that is being delivered. I did enjoy the full scope of the picture and regardless of flaws would without a doubt watch it again, 3 1/2 Claws.