So far, 2017 has delivered a decent amount of awesome horror movies and it’s only just begun. Although there’s plenty of big blockbuster hits coming out over the next few months, some highly anticipated indies are coming too. One that I’ve been looking forward to is the retro horror thriller, Close Calls, and I finally got to see it! Did it live up to my expectations?
Brought to you by S & Drive Cinema, Close Calls was directed, written, and produced by the talented Richard Stringham, and is his first feature-length film. The cast includes Jordan Phipps, Greg Fallon, Carmen Patterson, Kristof Waltermire, Janis Duley, and more.
A troubled young girl (Morgan) is forced to deal with her crazy grandma and a psychotic caller when her father leaves her home alone. But before the night is over, Morgan must also face her own fears and inner demons when she believes everyone she knows is plotting against her.
After waiting so long to watch this film, I must give a truthful and unbiased opinion, and that opinion is… Close Calls is a fucking awesome slice of horror goodness. You would never know that this is Stringham’s first big project. You also have to wonder what is going on it that brilliantly sick mind of his.
Everything from the original storyline to the unique characters and to the bizarre ending is delivered superbly with a mix of 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s nostalgia. The retro feel is awesome, but it’s mixed in with new – the perfect balance of both. It made the journey throughout the film interesting as sometimes I felt like I watching an Italian 80’s horror film with an extra campy feel while other times it reminded me of Scream. Along with this, there are also a lot of bright and bold colors throughout which mixes well with the 80’s vibe as well as helps embody Morgan’s drug-addled state.
I loved how original the story-line was. Although it’s not the first time we’ve watched a young girl get prank calls from a crazy stalker, it is a new way going about it. The way they went about it is different from anything I’ve ever seen. Not only is this going on, but weird occurrences happen with her grandma that completely throw you for a loop. Close Calls is thrilling mystery ride that takes its time developing the story but still makes sure to entertain every inch of the way. The ending will leave you in a what the fuck scenario but just roll with it as your guess is as good as mine.
The characters definitely left a lasting impression. Jordan Phipps is an incredibly talented actress and this is her first film. Morgan was the perfect choice for her as this character is pretty complex. It shows she can do it all, and be a diverse and head strong actress. Garry Fallon also played the role of Barry eerily perfect. Along with this, The grandma played by Janis Duley stood out quite a bit too. Her performance reminds me of Zelda from Pet Semetary. Locked away in a room, barely living, coughing up blood, and yelling out Morgan’s name. Creepy, huh?
Beyond that, if you were wondering about the gore, blood, and nudity factor… it hits on all of those points. There’s not an overload of these things, but the scenes that do deliver it are deliciously worth the wait – including ripping a piece of someone’s neck off!
Overall, Richard Stringham is a powerhouse director and he’s only at the beginning of his career. As a fan of horror himself, he knows what fans want to see, what he would like to see, and has the ability and talent to create original and horrific art that fans are looking for. Close Calls is a twistedly brilliant and creative horror story that fans won’t want to miss!