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"Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

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"Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

Old 09-26-22, 09:53 PM
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"Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge



Close Calls (2017)




Selected by Undeadcow


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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

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2022 DISCUSSION | 2022 LISTS

Last edited by Chad; 09-26-22 at 10:30 PM.
Old 09-27-22, 12:07 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

I am looking forward to revisiting Close Calls; it's a long movie but I found it well paced and with a nice twist. The giallo inspired lighting is great and some of the wardrobe is shameless.

Apparently throughout the film there are several nods to Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining;" but I'm not sure I caught that the first time.


Thanks to Chad for pointing out there is a lengthy 'making of' documentary for Close Calls called Red Phone Diaries: The Making or Breaking of 'Close Calls' that is included on the disc but apparently hard to track down otherwise:
Red Phone Diaries: The Making or Breaking of 'Close Calls' (2019) - IMDb
Here is a Trailer:
Spoiler:

Last edited by Undeadcow; 09-27-22 at 01:06 PM.
Old 10-19-22, 12:54 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

My second watch in two years. The movie hasnt improved since first viewing. Jordan phipps is nice to look at, but outside of that, its badly acted and way too long.
5/10
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Old 10-19-22, 03:25 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

Tracking shots are effective and add a sense of pace and energy, it's creatively filmed. The soundtrack is stellar, I looked up Composer Rocky Gray and he seems like a prolific indie horror presence channeling Suspiria a bit much here. The soundtrack adapts with the storyline to become more classical as the film goes on until the end.

Parallels between the red phone and the grandmother's red bell; a constant water dripping rhythm of tension from within and outside the house (on an occult level considering the end) – the domestic and the kinky. Communication piercing the veil of Jordan’s mind/death then being silenced with drugs or distraction. Aside from the ranch dressing pizza bit at the front Jordan spends the film responding to the subtle routine demands of others to the point she does not even enjoy her orgasm when others are around. The camera is not shy and makes the wardrobe a lot more lurid (even though there’s little nudity) but that seems to relate to some of the sexual themes here; the horror of the obscene caller. It’s funny here when the boyfriend shows up that clothes come on and the dalliances are strewn with hallucination and conflict. The stairs are atmospheric and metaphoric, seemingly key to the film itself. The leering shots of the dead mother well set up the framing premise of the film (traumatic memories of the dead). The strange ‘fake ending’ of the mother is surreal and great but an appetizer to the picture on the wall and the water at the end implying the death of the lead. The mysterious grandmother in the attic is a nice bit of subtle relatable horror uncertainty - the setting is far out with tarantulas and candles and cobwebs but the conversation is so queasy and medical riff with loneliness and need (the fear of caretaking). It seems to align with maternal themes that I can see but might be over my head.

After Barry ‘breaks in’ the film gets much more literal with home invasion elements and murder rather than the abstract leering haunting stairs. Grandmother biting the neck is brutal.
Some of the acting is questionable in spots (especially the dad) but altogether Jordan Phipps does well and carried the film. It's unintentionally funny how the dad is constantly berating his daughter about quite extreme things like cocaine or sex but at the same time seems to have liberal attitudes.
Old 10-19-22, 04:17 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

The pros :
I loved that opening title font. I hoped we were going to get a House Of The Devil style throwback.
The score was really good.
I enjoyed the use of color. Like others mentioned it had a Suspiria vibe.
I’m not going to complain about a half naked broad for two hours except…

The cons :
Jesus lady put on some clothes when you’re talking to your grandmother. And your father for that matter. I’m not a parent, but that’s weird right?
The acting in this was atrocious. The script didn’t help, but man this cast was horrible.
Fuck man. Get an editor. Two hours? What are you insane?
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Old 10-19-22, 07:06 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

The thing I kept thinking watching this is that someday I'd love to find a horror movie that has naked or near-naked beefcake as the visual focal point 95% of the time and subject this group to it in the subset list.

Honestly, unless you're really into DDs, I can't see much of a reason to watch this. The acting is atrocious. Yes, even from the lead female, though the dad was worse than wooden and his "fancy" girlfriend's fake British accent was eye-rolling. The lead girl (Morgan) is so obnoxious from the start, the way she talks to her dad, her constant use of drugs, and her lack of clothing, that it is impossible to be invested in her. Her boyfriend, who rapes her under the influence, is equally slimy. As is the dad, his girlfriend, and the weird grandma. I guess I want to be able to root for at least one of the characters. I've never been much of a fan of movies where the leads are unlikeable.

And what's up with al the dead/stuffed animals in what seems to be Morgan's bedroom?

I'm one hour in. I'll update this when I'm done....

The second hour.... went from being just bad to offensive. The pedophile work friend of the Dads? Literally triggering for me. Ugh. What a complete slimeball ("call me daddy, little girl"). The dad never listened to anything Morgan said. And the final fight... at first I was glad it was down to the women simply to get rid of all the guys trying to use Morgan. But then, when you think about it, we're left with three female stereotypes: the disgusting and repulsive old hag, the super nubile and overripe Lolita that every guy wants to abuse, and the cold-hearted beauty queen who is only into the guy to grab his money. Nice.

Also? There are three peeing scenes in this. Three! Because peeing is so hot and/or scary.

<sigh> Obviously, I'm not the audience for this one. These subset picks certain push me in new directions.

Last edited by jholmes; 10-20-22 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 10-19-22, 08:29 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

Ugh, an hour in and I still have another hour to go.... There must be some major subtext I'm missing here
Old 10-19-22, 09:26 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

I can usually find something positive to say about a film. But not always apparently.
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Old 10-19-22, 09:34 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
I can usually find something positive to say about a film. But not always apparently.
The cynic in me would say putting a large breasted woman on the poster in semi-lurid display, helps move a sh£tty movie. Unfortunately, I would much rather watch Vince Gallo masturbate into a tub than go through this one again.
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Old 10-19-22, 09:43 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

At least the poor dialogue in Winterbeast can be attributed to a two day shooting schedule -- what was this movie's excuse?
Richard Stringham wrote several pages of this script in 2008, then shelved the idea for six years. In 2014, he experienced such a powerful trip on psilocybin shrooms, he claimed the use of psychedelics helped him flesh out the story and pen the script in three months.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5817456/trivia/

Ah, nevermind.
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Old 10-20-22, 12:57 AM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

The soundtrack was good?
Old 10-20-22, 08:12 AM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by jholmes View Post
The second hour.... went from being just bad to offensive. The pedophile work friend of the Dads? Literally triggering for me. Ugh. What a complete slimeball ("call me daddy, little girl"). The dad never listened to anything Morgan said. And the final fight... at first I was glad it was down to the women simply to get rid of all the guys trying to use Morgan. But then, when you think about it, we're left with three female stereotypes: the disgusting and repulsive old hag, the super nubile and overripe Lolita that every guy wants to abuse, and the cold-hearted beauty queen who is only into the guy to grab his money. Nice.

Also? There are three peeing scenes in this. Three! Because peeing is so hot and/or scary.

<sigh> Obviously, I'm not the audience for this one. These subset picks certain push me in new directions.
Yes, the fake accent took me back to that Anna Delvey series on Netflix. Please stop!

Good observation on the three peeing scenes! I had a real lack of interest, so I only caught the last one.

There was some point where 'British accent', kept calling 'Moorgannn, Mooorrgannn! Where are you Morgan?' I assume this was from Last Man on Earth, where the zombies keep calling to Vincent Price.

What's the deal with those tomato plants? Those tomato plants in the greenhouse were huge....

Last edited by WillieMLF; 10-20-22 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 10-20-22, 08:26 AM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

Well ill give credit where its due. They used every bit of the 2hour and 8 minute run time dragging this story out. I was hoping for 20 minutes of end credits but it was not to be.
Old 10-20-22, 12:19 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

On the plus side...I am feeling better about suggesting Trouble Every Day.
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Old 10-20-22, 01:51 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

I am a sucker for the sort of psychological abstract weirdness like at the end of Close Calls.
Originally Posted by jholmes View Post
The thing I kept thinking watching this is that someday I'd love to find a horror movie that has naked or near-naked beefcake as the visual focal point 95% of the time and subject this group to it in the subset list.
Check out the remake of Slumber Party Massacre (2021) if you have not already, it has some funny subtext along these lines (and is a great film for it).
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Old 11-01-22, 06:34 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

I watched every single subset film this year and this is the only that had me pause it so I could see who picked it out.

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Old 11-02-22, 01:28 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

A lot of shade for this pick - but I take it in good fun (doesn't that make it eligible for the October Horror Movie Challenge "Favorites" List, like Killer Tongue?). I'll defend that I enjoy Close Calls; it has a lot of things it does right (at least the opening title font) even if it's overlong and could be interpreted as misogynistic . Win some, lose some.
Old 11-02-22, 09:22 PM
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Re: "Close Calls" Reviews/Discussion - 2022 Horror Challenge

It's okay, Undeadcow, we still love ya.
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