Hell Phone DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 7.5
Video 8.5
Audio 7.5
Special Features    
Total 7.0
Distributor: Madman
Classification: MA15+
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Reviewer:
Simon Black

7.5


Hell Phone

Teenage Sid isnít exactly the coolest gamin on the bloquer.  His best friend is a bespectacled ginger, he is shy around members of the opposite sex and doesnít even own a mobile phone, tantamount in this day and age to being a leper.  Desperate to impress Angie, the glamorous and seemingly unattainable object of his affections, he quickly sets out to remedy the latter of these deficiencies by purchasing a devil-shaped cell from a mysterious Chinese bazaar.  In addition to being affordably priced, the Mephistophelean mobile has the added bonus of being capable of singlehandedly wreaking revenge on Sidís detractors, such as his recalcitrant maths teacher and the catty friends of Angie who wonít give him the time of day.  While this proves appealing in the short term, matters quickly escalate out of control, though fortunately as the body count piles up so do the laughs.

As an incurable Francophile I was always going to have a soft spot for this comedy/horror solely on the basis of its luscious shots of French scenery and architecture, not to mention its equally luscious shots of leggy Parisian beauties cavorting about in a variety of tasteful yet skimpy attire.  That Hell Phone is also laugh-out-loud funny, charming and impeccably directed certainly doesnít go astray either.   Jean-Baptise Maunier, heretofore best known amongst Western audiences for his role in 2004s The Chorus, is perfect as the would-be Lothario, and Angie (Jennifer Decker) and her cronies have likewise been brilliantly cast. 

It should be pointed out that Hell Phone veers markedly more towards the comedy end of the spectrum.  Though there are certainly some inventive methods of dispatch, those expecting real scares wonít find them on offer here.  In fact itís downright wholesome, at least as far as films regarding killer technology go.  The violence is refreshingly tame and hammed up for good comic effect, and much of the impetus comes from the solid performances and polished screenplay, rather than the usual reliance on gore so prevalent in this age of brutal straight-to-video slashers.

The only real deficiency is the lack of extras.  A bonus feature or two would have been a nice additional incentive, but as is so often the case with R4 releases of Gallic fare thereís nothing on offer in this regard.  Still, this cleverly scripted and highly enjoyable teen romp will appeal to a broad audience, and should have little trouble attracting fans Down Under.  It looks to have been shot on digital, and though some of the headbanging soundtrack tends towards the generic and the only audio option is a 2.0, the sound and video quality are pristine throughout.  Certainly worth your three bucks the next time youíre down at Video Ezy!  Unlike the majority of horror films released these days this is also one that, despite its unwarranted and gratuitous MA rating (itís about a killer phone for Christís sake), is actually suitable for younger viewers too. 






 
 



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