Don’t hang up (2016/2017) is directed by Alexis Wajsbrot, at his debut, and features a group of teenage pranksters who mock people in vicious and controversial ways to obtain views on a YouTube-like website.
As their fame increases, so does the obsession developed towards them by a guy who decides to take his revenge in a very sadistic and violent way.
Although the concept can be considered quite silly, I found it to be interesting enough and also refreshing, even though similar stories have been depicted in previous movies such as Smile, #Horror and, most notably, Unfriended. In fact, I decided to check and review this flick – that came out in a limited release only few weeks ago – due to its intriguing premises.
Unfortunately, from the opening titles, the execution looks poorly realised, the main characters annoying and the score sounds off compared to the tone they were going for.
Indeed, the opening titles introduce the audience to eight pranksters running the channel, but throughout the runtime we get to know only four of them, two of which are the main characters.
In addition, the co-presence of two protagonists is an awkward choice, which can be made only if the characters are compelling and well-written, which they are not in Don’t hang up. Furthermore, the acting is so exaggerated and fake, the characters so annoying and hateful that results impossible to side by them.
At the same time, though, it’s hard to cheer for the villain, who is represented as a faceless voice that can’t be taken seriously by the audience, since he appears all-powerful and always one step ahead of the situation.
However, the movie is not pure rubbish. Wajsbrot, whose previous experiences were related to visual effects, tangibly puts a lot of effort in the camera work and cinematography, which look really well-crafted and carefully edited.
Sadly, the subtle atmosphere and the unsettling feeling provided by the visuals don’t match with the over-the-top, hysterical performances of the actors, especially Brady (Garrett Clayton), who is simply intolerable to the point that the audience wish he dies. Well, at least I did.
Moreover, the final sequence, beyond being extremely cliché, is very speedily and tiresomely executed and, I would say, disrespectful towards the audience, which is treated like a bunch of slow-minded people.
All in all, Don’t hang up is a low-budget disappointing flick, only saved by some random seeds of talent provided by the directorial efforts. Check it out only if you’re with friends or really bored. Cheers!