APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Don’t Hang Up (2016)

April 1: New boss, same as the old boss — Start the month off with something that’s April Fool’s in nature.

Directed by Alexis Wajsbrot and Damien Macé (working as part of Framestore, they’ve done visual effects for most of the MCU films) and written by Joe Johnson (The Skulls III), Don’t Hang Up is all about some young pranksters in over their heads. Those boys are Brady Mannion (Garrett Clayton), Sam Fuller (Gregg Sulkin), Jeff Mosley (Jack Brett Anderson) and Roy (Edward Killingback) who is known as PrankMonkey69. Most of their pranks are harmless, like sending pizza to neighbors or getting Peyton Grey (Bella Dayne) out of work.

But one of their pranks wasn’t so nice. Now Mr. Lee (played by Parker Sawyers and voiced by Philip Desmueles) is going all torture porn Saw by way of Scream by way of I Know What You Did Last Summer to them, calling and sending them video footage of loved ones all tied up. They take him seriously, as after all, he’s already killed Jeff and Roy and has the video to prove it.

He’s also using more captured video to turn them against one another, as Brady had been sleeping with Peyton, who is Sam’s girlfriend. Of course, he videotaped it, because he’s a scumbag. They’re all scumbags. That’s why Mr. Lee has been after them for a year, ever since one of their pranks killed Mrs. Kolbein (Sienna Guillory, Jill Valentine from the Resident Evil movie series) and her daughter Izzy (Connie Wilkins). And those may have been Mr. Lee’s wife and daughter, but regardless of that implication, he’s getting rid of anyone who loves April 1.

It’s weird that to these filmmakers, the later works of Wes Craven and imitators mean more than the slashers I grew up on, but that’s how time and influence work. I mean, I don’t have to like it, but that’s how it is.

This is fine, though, and I do appreciate an ending this cynical and mean spirited.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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