Movie Review: Don't Hang Up (2016)
Synopsis: Teenage friends Brady, Sam, Jeff and Roy (a.k.a PrankMonkey69) get a kick out of making elaborate prank calls and posting the results on the internet. When Sam begins having relationship issues with his girlfriend, Peyton, Brady decides to cheer him up by pulling off a few more pranks. However, things turn sinister when the mysterious Mr. Lee hijacks their phones and electronics
Who's in it? The movie stars Gregg Sulkin, Garrett Clayton, Bella Dayne, Edward Killingback and Jack Brett Anderson.
Review: My wife wanted to watch a scary movie after her virtual kickboxing class yesterday evening so, while she was showering, I went in search of one. After a while, I settled for this movie, which I found on VUDU.
To tell you the truth, I wasn't really expecting to like this movie, partly because it seemed like it would be very similar to another film I've already seen, really predictable or both. However, it turned out to be better than expected.
I think the thing I liked best about this movie was the mystery behind Mr. Lee (voiced by Philip Desmeules). My wife and I weren't sure if he was one of the boys' previous victims, some sort of vigilante or if maybe it would turn out to be someone pulling an elaborate prank on them. The fact their apparent ringleader, Roy (Killingback) wasn't in the house with them at the time made the last one a very real possibility.
I also have to admit, I liked Mr. Lee's end game. A lot of movies will make character deaths seem pretty random but, in this case, the antagonist had a pretty solid plan that made for a nice twist at the end (while setting up a potential sequel).
Another thing I liked about this film was, unlike many other horror movie victims, Brady (Clayton) and Sam (Sulkin) at least made an attempt to get help. Yes, Mr. Lee managed to stay one step ahead of them at all times. But, I'm still going to give them credit for the effort when many other films usually just have the victims crying in a corner or something.
I think my only real complaint about this film was the part about Peyton (Dayne) cheating on Sam with Brady. It was an intriguing twist. It's just the movie really didn't do a whole lot with it. Sam was mad at Brady for maybe a few minutes and apparently forgave Peyton pretty much immediately. It would have been considerably better had there been some sort of sustained drama/suspense from it. Or, better, have a surprise twist involving Sam secretly knowing about the infidelity and using that as motivation to create an ultimate revenge prank involving a fictional Mr. Lee. But, again, that didn't happen and that means the whole cheating thing was really just a waste.
Final Opinion: I probably would have liked the film a little better had there been some sort of big surprise when it came to Mr. Lee's identity. But, overall, it wound up being an entertaining movie and I did enjoy it.
My Grade: B