Don't Hang Up (2017)
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Critic Reviews for Don't Hang Up
A formulaic story of teenagers behaving badly and getting what's coming to them.
Basically, Don't Hang Up is a hire-me sign masquerading as a slasher film.
Don't Hang Up is a valiant, but ultimately disappointing, addition to the new social media horror genre.
The co-directors ... work everything without emotion or verisimilitude. [Full review in Spanish]
The end does not completely fulfill its purpose. [Full Review in Spanish]
Audience Reviews for Don't Hang Up
So, yea, where do I start with this movie? I suppose you could say that the concept itself is a relatively decent one. A couple of pranksters get the tables turned on them by the victim of one of their pranks. I like the idea because you could play with the idea of the disconnect between online pranks/trolling versus the consequences those pranks have on people in real life. And that's something that's very true, these really extreme trolls have depersonalized other human beings to the point that they don't see what they do as anything negative that can have real-life consequences. They're just doing it for a laugh or to make their pathetic little lives have some sort of meaning, even if that meaning is in and of itself is being a piece of shit to strangers. You can do something with and, theoretically, the film does try to attempt this. But, honestly, it's been forever since I've seen a movie where I sympathized with the lead characters LESS than I did in this movie. Basically, these four indiscernible white boys (one of them is named Brady, so you already know that they're fucking douchebags) play extreme pranks on people and then they post recordings of these videos online for them to go viral. For example, the first prank sees them calling this woman and telling her that a criminal is in her house and that he's taken her daughter. They call people and tell them that a loved one has died in a car pile-up. Stupid pranks like that. They basically set up these assholes and, immediately, throw two of them into the thick of things. Brady and Sam, whose girlfriend dumped him and he has no idea why, are spending time in bro'ing it up in Sam's house. They get bored and they start making prank calls and whatnot. And, eventually, they come to get a call from a man calling himself Mr. Lee and, essentially, he acts sort of like Jigsaw in the Saw movies, where he forces Sam and Brady to engage in a series of game to ensure their survival or the survival of their loved ones. And that's probably the biggest mistake right there. Actually, no, that's not the biggest mistake. The biggest mistake is populating the movie with some of the most insufferable and unlikable characters this side of Lori (The Walking Dead) and expect us to, somehow, sympathize with them whenever they're put in any sort of danger. I know some people hate the term torture porn, but this movie was the very definition of that. There's nothing that I wanted more than for Sam, Brady and their group of pranking assholes to get THE worst possible deaths imaginable. No matter what they did and how they may have tried to redeem themselves through their actions, Sam and Brady deserved everything they got coming to them and I could not have been happier about it. And THAT, to me, is probably the biggest issue. The second biggest issue is that, essentially, this is a very derivative horror movie. I mentioned the whole thing of Mr. Lee coming across like a lower rent version of Jigsaw which, some people, claim is a low-rent version of John Doe from Seven. And it goes deeper than just the character sharing similarities. The biggest issue I had with Saw, as more sequels started coming out, was how preposterous it was for what happened in the seventh and, then, last movie to have all been planned ahead. Jigsaw had contingency plan upon contingency plan for every possible situation, scenario, betrayal and/or death of whomever it is he chose to succeed him. It got so ridiculous to believe that, eventually, you just sort of zoned out of the narrative and focused more on the deaths. This movie isn't like that, per se, but Mr. Lee, essentially, has the wherewithal and technology to hack into Sam's parent's TV. Showing them footage that is believed to be live but, later, is revealed to have been recorded. Mr. Lee also has the technology in order to redirect every outgoing call Sam and Brady make, regardless of what phone they use, into his phone. Like, seriously, how the fuck am I supposed to care about this? And, of course, Mr. Lee has contingency plans up the ass. If this doesn't work, he already has something else in mind to use. He knows when one of the guys leaves the room in order to entice the other into doing what he wants. I'm not saying that horror movies have to be realistic, but I should be able to, at least, believe what I'm seeing. And this movie failed at that, because this man, let's say that he's a normal, hard-working man, has access to technology that the CIA (or any other government agency) has, it just sort of loses that personal aspect to Mr. Lee's search for (rightful) revenge. There is some idiocy, because of course there is. Like when Sam figures out that the video they're being shown of Brady's parents tied up is not live. He sees THE REFLECTION of a clock on the wall. And there's a see-through sheet of plastic behind Brady's parents. It's not like the reflection is even that clear. You have to squint harder than anyone has ever squinted before to even come close to seeing the clock's hands, much less actually discerning what time it fucking is. But, nope, Sam saw it almost immediately. And then, on top of that, Sam or Brady (or maybe both) ACTUALLY FUCKING QUESTION WHY MR. LEE IS DOING WHAT HE'S DOING. Do these insufferable douchebags really have to ask this question in order to get their answer? We played ugly pranks, where we led innocent people to believe that their lives or the lives of their loved ones were in danger for no other reason than shits and giggles and we, the fucks that we are, have the balls to ask why Mr. Lee is doing this? I suppose someone who likes this movie could defend that as it being part of the disconnect between the online world and the real world and I say that that is bullshit. This movie is incompetently put together and poorly-written. So, honestly, I doubt they're gonna have the intelligence of thinking of something like that beforehand. The acting is also really bad. This is, honestly, a disaster of a movie. The ending is the only thing that's remotely and slightly good, because it doesn't necessarily go where you expect it and it fits the narrative that Mr. Lee wishes to create. Plus, while only one of the guys dies, the one who's alive is still fucked as a result. So, in all, the good guys won and the assholes lost out. If it wasn't obvious, I hated this movie. Good concept is wasted on an insufferable cast of characters with no redeemable qualities (other than the villain) and a poorly written narrative (with accompanying terrible dialogue to boot) that's incredibly derivative. Just, fuck this movie.
A highly predictable and pointless movie.
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