Don’t Hang Up is a thriller that follows two “prank callers” who have finally pranked the wrong person. The movie starts with a woman in bed receiving a chilling bone call from a man advising her not to move from her spot since there is an intruder in the house and her daughter is asleep in the next room. Automatically you’re put on edge as this taps into one of people’s biggest fears: a home intruder. However, it’s quickly revealed that the call is fake and really four prankster pre-fraternity douchebags.
Although this seems like a bit of an outdated thing (they’re still using landlines), the film stays modern with the boys’ connection to social media. They upload each prank to YouTube (or something similar) and gain popularity through that. Of course, one-day things become serious and our main characters, Brady and Sam find themselves in trouble. Someone is pranking them, and the stakes are raised much higher. Real lives are on the line. Brady’s parents are in peril and some of their friends from before are in danger too.
Don’t Hang Up is nothing we haven’t seen before. It doesn’t fall far from the typical thriller formula. It’s chalk full of tropes like the teenage douchebags with a soft side, and the classic villain who’s seeking revenge. But maybe there’s nothing wrong with that? Since overall, this thriller thrilled me. The film did a good job of paying homage to the classics while keeping things modern. For Garrett Clayton, who fans may recognize from Teen Beach Movie, this was definitely a new role. It was nice to see Clayton venture into something different and thrive in that. Greg Sulkin’s performance was also real and raw.
The film did stand out with its visual effects. French filmmakers Damien Macé and Alexis Wajsbrotare are known for their visual effect work on Game of Thrones and Gravity. The duo further showed off their skills with their directorial debut in this film. Incorporating modern technology into the story really played off well and made it enjoyable and creepy to watch (the concept of big brother will always be a popular one amongst this generation).