Movie Review: Close Calls Takes Familiar Terror Tropes to Surreal Places!

February 1, 2018

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Morgan is your typical, everyday teenager…all ‘tude and ’80’s slang (as the kids today do?). Anyway, Morgan gives her father the ol’ wise ass ass wise one too many and finds herself grounded…and forced to stay at home with her nuttier than a god damn fruitcake grandmother (who continuously spews blood and lives in what could best be described as a freakin’ haunted attraction in the attic) while her father goes out on a date. To deal with this bummer turn of events, Morgan does a shit ton of drugs and eats pizza in her underwear (a typical Tuesday for some of you creeps, except she actually looks attractive doing it). Soon Morgan is plagued by a series of bizarre obscene phone calls, strange psychotic episodes featuring her dead mother, and the demands of nutty Nana…not to mention an outre, psychotic stranger named Barry that appears on our heroine’s door step (with a supposed tie to her Father) who ups the ‘wrongness’ quotient of the film a thousand fold.
Kickin’ out the positive jams, Close Calls is a spectacular pastiche of ’80’s horror, but containing a flat out weird streak a mile long. The mix of stalker motifs blended with the positively off-the-wall bits with ‘gramma’, and the conversations with Morgan’s dead mother make for a delightfully surreal fright flick experience that is both unique and absolutely  balls out awesome. Adding to the experience are some game performances from Jordan Phipps as Morgan and Janis Duley as Gramma…with the former being both full of bravado, yet fragile at the same time, and the latter giving a performance that’s deliciously over-the-top…and speaking of ‘over-the-top, Greg Fallon as the murderous Barry is a scenery gnashing whirlwind of crazy that is impossible to take your eyes off of!
Enhancing the vibe is a great soundtrack by Rocky Gray that perfectly captures the retro fright flick aesthetic, and some truly rad-ass set design and kick-ass cinematography (especially in Gramma’s lair). In other words, this film looks flat out shit-hot…and when you see what the finale has in store, I guarantee jaws will hit the floor!
As for the negative Yin to those happy-ass Yangs above, I really don’t have much here fiends. Close Calls runs over two hours…which is usually the kiss of death for a fright flick, but this one never falters or overstays it’s welcome…so I can’t even bitch incessantly about the run time like I normally do…
Close Calls is exactly what a pastiche of ’80’s horror should be; a film that borrows familiar motifs but twists and turns them like some F’d up clay into something original and surreal…we’ve all seen the classics, now it’s time to take their inspiration and make something fresh, and Close Calls sure as shit does just that!


For more on Close Calls from Horror Fuel head here and here!

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