4 out of 10
Release date: 12th June 2017 (DVD premiere)
Director: Damien Mace & Alexis Wajsbrot
Cast: Gregg Sulkin, Garrett Clayton, Bella Dayne, Philip Desmeules (voice), Jack Brett Anderson, with Parker Sawyers and Sienna Guillory
Writer: Joe Johnson
Trailer: DON’T HANG UP
Competent thriller which splices Saw and Scream together. Trouble is our heroes are despicable throwaways who pretty much deserve everything that comes there way, depending on how ‘old testament’ your views are.
Gregg Sulkin’s (FAKING IT) Sam and Garrett Clayton’s (TEEN BEACH) Brady are the ring leaders of a YouTube channel phone pranking gang. Brady is the heartless asshat without a conscience who is quite obviously addicted to the kicks he gets out of phoning and winding up complete strangers. Sam has more of a moral compass, his girlfriend (BELLA DAYNE – HUMANS) is on the verge of dumping him for his involvement, except she’s little better. One day the chickens come home to roost when they find themselves under siege from a vengeful caller who seems to hold all the cards – who is he/she? And what happens if they disobey his command, “Don’t Hang Up!”
If you’ve never seen this kind of film, you may well be able to predict some of its twists and turns, so derivative of better films is it. However, the tension levels are present and correct and the performance flawless. It’s definitely watchable and a good time passer. The mixture of British and German actors and actresses do well with their American accents, yet you can still tell it’s a British production down to the production values, the set and single locations. Sienna Guillory (FORTITUDE) turns up for a a brief cameo too give the film an ounce of pedigree, in a role as the pranksters first onscreen ‘victim’. Elsewhere the lead duo, do a good job of selling their utterly odious ‘heroes’. It’s quite rare to cheer on the evil villain, who unnerves with a Kevin Spacey-like phone demeanour and a very creepy mask. The lead duo walk into so many traps that you’d think lads like this would have seen in famous films, but no, these guys aren’t the cast of Scream, and there’s no sense of meta. The high-stakes game runs out of steam by the end, and the ending doesn’t quite come off – but in the main this was a diverting 90 minutes designed as a late night throwaway on a film channel.
4 out of 10 – You’ll be rooting for the bad guy in this tidy, yet predictable quickie that borrow large dollops of inspiration from Saw, Scream and When a Stranger Calls. A solid time passer.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Gregg Sulkin: Anti-Social, Faking It (TV). Sixty Six
- Garrett Clayton: Teen Beach 2, Teen Beach
- Bella Dayne: Humans (TV), Plebs (TV)
- Jack Brett Anderson: Wolfblood (TV), House of Salem
- Parker Sawyers: Southside With You, The Calling, Monsters 2
- Sienna Guillory: Abduct, Fortitude (TV), Lucky Man (TV), High-Rise, The Goob, Luther (TV), Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil 4, Inkheart, Eragon, Resident Evil 3, Love Actually, The Principles of Lust, The Time Machine (2002), Late Night Shopping, Sorted