Review: Don’t Hang Up (2016)

Don’t Hang Up is a 2016 horror movie directed by Damien Macé and Alex Wajsbrotabout, a group of teenage boys who spend their free time making dangerous prank calls building their online stardom.  The teenagers tell people things like their family members have died, or there’s an intruder in their house and upload their calls online getting millions of views for their antics.  As the prank calls worsen, karma kicks the boys in the butt as they are put through a horrible night, giving them a dose of their own medicine.

Damien Macé and Alex Wajsbrot, who’s previous work in the film industry mainly consists of visual effects, make their directorial debut with the movie Don’t Hang Up.  The writer, Joe Johnson, has only a few writing credentials to his name, including a few episodes from different late 90s to early 2000s shows, with his most recent being in 2004.  

The two main stars Garrett Clayton and Gregg Sulkin, are best known for their work on Disney Channel’s Teen Beach Movie and Wizards of Waverly Place respectively.  Although the characters that Clayton and Sulkin play seem similar to the attractive, popular guys they usually play, the circumstances the characters face do not correspond with their usual roles, making their performances something audiences haven’t seen from them.  Clayton and Sulkin show that they can handle the dark material this film delivers, giving more versatility to them and oppose the stereotype of being one sided actors. With that being said, the actors are still young and up and coming, who have never worked in horror before, and didn’t have the greatest material to work with in this film, but they both did their roles justice, with Sulkin having the better performance of the two.

Don’t Hang Up very clearly draws influence from many older and modern day horror classics including but not limited to, “When A Stranger Calls” and “Saw.” Due to this, and its use of familiar tropes, the main plot points are easily predictable but the little details that lead up to them are not too obvious or boring.

The vigilante of the film, Mr. Lee, has a very sinister voice, and presence that sends shivers down the spine.  Don’t Hang Up takes awhile to set everything up but eventually finds its footing and has a great pace the rest of the way through.

The few expectations I had for the movie were not very high, so it was pretty easy for the film to surpass them, but I still believe that this is a film worthy of your viewing. Don’t Hang Up is by no means a film that the masses will praise, but it certainly is an excellent feat for a film that has many cast and crew members that are not only new to the horror genre, but for some of them, beginners in their profession in general.  If you give Don’t Hang Up a chance, you will find that at its core, it’s another fun teen slasher flick. Don’t hang Up is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime.

About Morgan Jewel Sawan 58 Articles
Current film student, amateur film critic and background extra. Future film maker, professional film critic and actress. I inherited my love of halloween and horror movies from my mom. We go to Texas Frightmare Weekend every year, and I’ve just started o branch out and go to other conventions, as well as cosplay at them. In 2017 I cosplayed as Nancy Thompson from A Nightmare on Elm Street, and in 2018 you can catch me at the convention as Ellen Ripley, complete with a facehugger AND chestburster. My favorite horror movie is Scream, which is highly ironic considering I was deathly afraid of Ghostface, who I had very vivid nightmares about that I still remember perfectly, as a child. Now, the films that scare me the most tend to be about the paranormal. Even though I’ve pretty much been a life long fan of horror I still have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the classics, ergo my Millennial Morgan Plays Catch Up reviews. You can follow me on twitter, @Morgan_Jewel_S, where I tweet A LOT about movies of all types and the people in them.