CLOSE CALLS

A midnight binge of sub-genre lunacy

Close Calls
Starring Jordan Phipps, Greg Fallon, Carmen Patterson, Kristof Waltermire, Janis Duley

A drug-addicted teenager has to deal with her crazy grandmother and a psychotic phone caller when her father leaves.

Director: Richard Stringham

Writer: Richard Stringham (screenplay)

Stars: Jordan PhippsGreg FallonCarmen Patterson

Daddy issues, drug addiction, a cannibalistic grandmother, boobs, and unhealthy eating habits power a psychosexual fever dream. Sound messy? It is! But over the course of two midnight viewings (it's pretty long for what it is), Close Calls coalesced, and its disjointed narrative mostly worked for me.

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There are however, problems with this tonally schizophrenic exercise in neon-hazed titillation. Performances are kind of all over the place, direction seems poor, and lead Jordan Phipps (as Morgan) struggles to match emotion with mood—often oscillating between angry, sad, and shocked in one stroke (again, it feels like a direction problem). There's also a worrying gaze laid upon Phipps' body, especially given she's likely playing a teenager. Most of the film is her bouncing about the house in bra and panties, and almost none of that time is wasted opportunity in appeasing horn dogs. Even still, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy spending the evening holed up in the house with Morgan. Maybe it's the transfer of cabin fever (or effects of the hallucinogenic drugs), but her endearingly feisty personality made it much easier to endure (and even enjoy) the wave of nonsense occurring within the two hour run time.

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If watching a half naked adult-playing-a-teenager narrowly escaping one ridiculous disaster after the next while straddling the line of consciousness in a house lit like an Argento film, sounds like fun to you, then perhaps Close Call has your number.