Harking back to the golden giallo era of horror, Richard Stringham’s Close Calls is certainly a plot splicer, with some motifs working better than others.
The films begins with echoes of Black Christmas as a young girl is harrassed by explicit phone calls but then when she’s left alone for the night by her dad she has her ‘ill’ grandmother to deal with.
Scenes are dominated by Jordan Phipps’ Morgan, who although the heroin of the piece we believe, doesn’t come across as very sympathetic.
She’s almost the reverse final girl, with her cleavage on show pretty much the entire film as well as giving hints of promiscuity as well as smoking a bit of pot.
The biggest problem with Close Calls is that it’s simply too long, clocking in at over 2 hours the story becomes quite bloated and grinds to a halt midway before being ramped up with a slightly tasteless rape scenario.
There is an identity crisis here as were not quite sure what the film is trying to be. Having said this the look of it is stunning with colours so rich you’ll think they were stole from an 80’s Argento set.
Music is provided by Rocky Gray, who does a decent job with a retro synth theme very much in keeping with his previous work on indie horror anthology 10/31 and Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories.
There are some great elements to Close Calls but unfortunately they don’t quite mesh together to make this a must watch.