Whatever You Do… – Don’t Hang Up (2016)

Some movies cannot help but be predictable. There are instances where they might have familiar plot elements that have been seen a dozen times over or they could be remakes or it could simply be chalked up to poor writing. In cases such as these, while the outcome might be foretold, the getting there is what needs to change in order to keep the audience enthused and interested. Don’t Hang Up is a film that is predictable right from the start, whether a person reads the premise or watches the trailer, it is immediately evident that something bad is going to happen to the people on the phone and being a horror movie, it will more than likely include some form of torture or death. Luckily, despite all the clichés present, the film still managed to be quite suspenseful and ultimately, an enjoyable one.

The plot revolves around a few friends that like to play phone pranks, something that seems slightly outdated in this day and age except for those that like to try and scam money off of seniors and the like. Be that as it may, it does not stop this group of guys from playing a dangerous game, one that could potentially have real-life consequences and more importantly, something that could come back to haunt them personally. As it is, that is what exactly happens, for without their knowing, something terrible happened and now they will have to pay the price and it will definitely not go well for them.

As suggested, many elements of this film have been seen before, multiple times over. The prank call is nothing new and the bad guy on the other end is not either, but that does not mean that using the same tropes that others might have propagated previously will mean a bad film. Directors Damien Macé and Alexis Wajsbrot do a great job at bringing the picture to the big screen and there are plenty of moments that will make a person jump and perhaps feel a little bit squeamish and that is a good thing, considering the genre. The only problem is, that while they tell a good story and they make it entertaining, there is essentially nothing new here. That is the main fault that lies in this film, specifically the lack of innovation. It is not a bad movie, nor is it one that will bore a person to tears, there is simply nothing new for those that might love their horror films a little more than the average person.

Faults aside, for the eighty-three minutes that this movie goes on for, there is a good time to be had as the actors which include Gregg Sulkin, Garrett Clayton and Bella Dayne among them do a great job. The tension and suspense that play out will keep a person glued to the screen as will the horror of the situation, but at the end of the day, Don’t Hang Up ends up being just an average horror movie – one that will amuse and captivate, but not one that will ever be memorable.

3 out of 5

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