The Horror Honeys: Long Distance: Just Hang Up The Phone, Already!

Long Distance: Just Hang Up The Phone, Already!

A Slasher Honey Review by Chassity

Long Distance (2005)

What do you get when you take the opening scene of Scream (minus the movie trivia), and cross it with the general idea of the plot from When A Stranger Calls, a kind of crazy twist (like, The Usual 
Suspects crazy) and throw it all together? 

You get a movie like the thriller Long Distance. And it’s not half as bad or as great as it sounds. 

This is one of those movies I’ve seen a few times now, and it took me a while to fully understand what was going on. But it’s entertaining as hell, and it’s one of those types of films that’s great to see with a bunch of other people so you can talk about it, but is also great to watch alone because doing so will put you in the shoes of the main character. 

The Plot: Nicole Freeman is your typical twenty-something grad student, living alone and dealing with getting through a breakup with her cheating boyfriend. One night she gets into an argument with her mother about why she and the guy broke up, and hangs up on her. Feeling guilty, she calls her mother back to apologize, but in a state of confusion (I guess) she misdials a wrong number. After apologizing to her mother, she gets a return call from the wrong number, and thus begins a series of creepy (to say the least) phone calls from the guy at the house she misdialed (who, by the way, calls himself Joe). As if that isn’t enough to make you afraid to be alone, she finds out when a cop shows up at her house that the guy who’s been calling her doesn’t live at the house. He was there when she called, because he travels the country murdering people and Nicole just had the misfortune to dial the house of the latest stop on his murder spree. 

When Nicole catches on to what he’s doing, she tries to warn the woman at the house he last called from, and this makes him angry. He eventually finds out where Nicole lives and starts making his way to her, while she’s under police protection in her own home. 

And that’s it. That’s the plot in its entirety. 

It's 2005. Why do you have a landline, Mrs. Brady?
The Good: As I said, this movie is nothing if not entertaining. Regardless of whether or not you like it, once you start it, you’re immediately hooked and on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happens next. It’s that interesting. This is the kind of movie that makes you not want to miss a second, not even for a bathroom break. 

Besides the fact that it keeps you hooked, it takes elements from other well-known, beloved horror films and puts them together in a way that is both recognizable and comfortable. And the acting isn’t bad. The characters aren’t over the top, nor are they so subtle as to be boring. 

And it is truly creepy. The first time I saw it, I didn’t want to answer any phones for a while afterward, and definitely didn’t want to be alone. 

He knows you're alone... because you probably told him as much.
The Bad: Once you’ve seen it the whole way through, its entertainment value sort of….drops. It’s not the kind of movie that most people will find worth watching more than once. And what you’re left with is its flaws. Nicole does fall into the trap of most horror movie characters: doing dumb things so that the plot can move forward. What woman is this day and age, who lives alone, would let a strange man up to her apartment, even if he is a cop? Why doesn’t she call the police right away? Why continue to speak with Joe once you realize what’s going on? 

And the most annoying problem of all: the entire movie is based on an unrealistic premise that would never happen in 2005. Nicole misdials the wrong number when she tries to call her mom back and apologize, but why did she try to dial the number back in the first place? Why didn’t she just hit redial? Who wouldn’t have just hit redial?! It doesn’t make any sense. 

And don’t get me started on the twist. We all know the feeling when a movie is good all the way up until the end, and some bogus twist gets thrown in that…well, it’s basically a copout and ruins the entire movie. That’s definitely the case here, and it’s the worst thing about the movie. The big climax should never be the worst thing about a movie. Unacceptable. 

Slasher Honey Rating: 3 outdated house phones out of 5

Long Distance is available via DVD

Did you still have a landline in 2005?
Tell me on Twitter: @ChassMM