Have you ever watched a film that’s so ugly and grotesque and full of violence that it makes you feel physically sick and you wonder what you’ve done to deserve this?
When Evil Calls is a British horror film (yet devoid of British charm) about, of all things, the dangers of chain texts. Picture the scenario: you receive a text that reads “Congratulations! You have won a wish”. Naturally you aren’t an idiot so you don’t answer it. Not so for the kids at this high school! Samantha wishes to be popular before sending the text to two other people (which shouldn’t work, because Samantha only has one friend. She could be a big loser and still be alive, I think I’d take it).
Unfortunately all of the characters are idiots who probably fell for umpteen Napster scams as well, the Crazy Frog ringtone-toting numskulls.
The story is told in 20 chapters (oh yes) by a janitor-narrator who makes terrible puns at the end of each monkey-paw-esque tale of misfortune. He pisses himself laughing at his own shitty joke before swearing at you for not enjoying his complete lack of taste (considering how many teenagers die, his puns are really not worth it). I came to this film so full of hope and he wore me down.
Some of the scenes do play out quite funnily- I mean we can all enjoy a good CGI ambulance hitting a wheelchair at considerable speed. If anything, we probably shouldn’t admit that made us laugh as much as it did. The other violence on show is very low budget B-movie gore, which might work for some people but is enough for me to lose my stomach. You too would have a funny turn if a student got pencils embedded into his brain (via the eyes!) and said pencils and brain were dislodged halfway through your breakfast.
That’s not to mention how ridiculous the plot is. I could really go on at length, but my main gripe is: the teachers aren’t willing to get police involved whilst all of the deaths are freak accidents. And then a guy wants to kiss Molly- the hot girl at school, played by Gemma Chan in her first movie role??!?! She’s so much better than this shitshow. Molly and the unnamed guy share a kiss before Molly’s girlfriend smashes his head into the curb repeatedly in a hilarious act of jealousy which is let’s face it, murder. As in actual murder. A crime. A full on crim-IT’S MURDER YOU GUYS, WHY AREN’T THE POLICE INVOLVED? HOW COME THE ONLY POLICE INVOLVED ARE A DRUNK FRENCH MAN AND HIS TRANSLATOR??
Poor poor Gemma Chan- her character is essentially a sex object (and whilst I know her characters on Fresh Meat, IT Crowd and Humans are all highly sexualised too, at least those shows are good in their own right. Baby steps) who makes out with people, gives relationship-ruining blowjobs and bites a girl’s face off (which is another of the hold-back-your-vom moments). The only breaks from all the “action” is a sequence where a guy watches girls playing volleyball with X-ray vision. FFS. Where is the female gaze? (Not to be confused with the female gays- as discussed, we get lots of Gemma Chan and her girlfriend in several scenes of softcore pornography.)
The lesbians get killed off and that’s when the
pervert janitor remembers the larger plot. Samantha kills the genie clown who started the chain texts (OH RIGHT YES A CLOWN GENIE HOW DIDN’T WE GUESS) in some dream sequence. And she’s fine, with no negative repercussions. Despite the fact that, oh I dunno, several people are dead now because of her.
And all she could’ve done to prevent that is just NOT SEND A TEXT BACK.
Spoopy Rating: Oh I don’t know. 3/3. 0/3. I don’t know anymore.