Review by Jesse Miller, MoreHorror.com
In Fatal Pictures’ Hang Up!, Gary (Robert Nolan) is your average family man going through the daily grind when he receives a butt-dial from his wife Emelia (Astrida Auza) having a very personal heart-to-heart with a friend.
At first, Gary goes to hang up and resume work, until he realizes Emelia is unspooling a dark revelation that will shatter his peaceful reality.
Written and Directed by Richard Powell, Hang Up! unfolds like a one-act play. There is only one setting - Gary’s office - and only one physical performer, Gary himself, used to react to his wife’s blistering monologue.
Just like he’s trapped in the office, most likely in this relationship, while the city roars with life around him, we’re trapped in that claustrophobic space with him as well. I can almost feel the stuffiness of the room.
The effect of shooting in black and white is striking. Not only are the visuals crisp and looking gorgeous, the effect lends itself to the fact that Gary’s life has become devoid of meaning. He’s still in the daily grind and, in many ways, the camera work here, reflecting the image of Gary on various office surroundings, gives the impression the man is utterly trapped.
The horror here is an all-too real one. Imagine hearing from the one you love, the one you trust dearly, such seething, scathing, spitting remarks about the life you thought you knew. As a viewer watching this, even my gut was twisting in anxiety as the horror washed over Gary’s face. I felt that sense of a life being turned upside down. That’s the effectiveness of the writing, I feel.
The delivery by Astrida Azua is gut-wrenching and tense and acidic, but it does feel a little too rehearsed at times and, maybe this is me, but at times it does feel like a writer speaking through Emelia, rather than Emelia speaking herself.
However, this is only in passages. For the most part, Emelia’s incendiary dialogue cuts to the bone, tells the story and more than this, it hits the mood home. You’re right there with Gary, his face a mask of mixed emotions - heartache, incredulity, anger. It’s all too real.
And that’s the staying power of Hang Up!, it’s low key ability to capture a different kind of horror and to let it worm its way under your skin.
Watch Hang Up!