There are short horror movies that are made simply to build up tension that ends with a rather predictable jump-scare and then there are short horror movies that come from the necessity to express something, to explore themes that truly unsettle the viewer and that stay with them for long after the picture is over.
Hang Up!, directed by Richard Powell and produced by Fatal Pictures’, belongs to the latter group.
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In this black and white, highly stylised horror drama, an accidental butt dial causes a husband to give an unexpected glimpse into the mind of his wife… whose not pleased, to say the least, about their life-long relationship.
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This is a short film that works on many different levels: as the director himself stated, Hang Up! is a devilish journey into the slow and silent destruction of a marriage, where the fear of ‘not being enough’ for your partner comes to life in the worst possible way.
The husband on the other side of the line – perfectly and silently portrayed by Robert Nolan – experiences before his eyes (or I’d better say, through his ears) the downfall of his marriage, all the while the audience can very much identify with him as his mannerism and facial expressions deliver a lot more than words can do.
His wife’s voice, at the same time, is charged with hatred toward the spouse, which results into a very uncomfortable monologue that might really haunt your dreams… or nightmares.
Bleak, sad and powerful, Hang Up! benefits from the black and white cinematography and from some unexpectedly creative camera angles that perfectly enhance the depressing, somewhat brutally realistic vibe.
Hang Up! is a film that truly deserves to be seen, due to its great aesthetics, interesting multi-layered themes and great performances.
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