When Joey's dad dies Joey is starting to act strange. He's got psychic powers. He can talk to him on the phone! His red toy telephone! But what he doesn't know is that he is not talking to ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joshua Morrell ...
Eva Kryll ...
Laura Collins
Tammy Shields ...
Jan Zierold ...
Barbara Klein ...
Dr. Haiden
Matthias Kraus ...
Jerry Hall ...
Sean Johnson ...
Christine Goebbels ...
Ray Kaselonis ...
Joel Kleinman
Berit Morrell
Punky ...
Christoph Lindert ...
Axel Berg ...
Parapsychologist Ralph


When Joey's dad dies Joey is starting to act strange. He's got psychic powers. He can talk to him on the phone! His red toy telephone! But what he doesn't know is that he is not talking to his dad. He is talking to an evil dummy and the evil dummy is starting to make Joey's world a living nightmare. Written by Matthew Chmiel <J0HNNYRICO@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Only he can see it. Only he shares its magic. Only he knows the danger. See more »


PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

November 1985 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Making Contact  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The director came to Stuttgart Elementary and Junior High School on Robinson Barracks in Stuttgart Germany in the spring of 1984 to select American kids to be in the movie starting that summer. The lead role and many of his friends in the movie were selected from that school. Not just the bit parts. See more »


References E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

Good, but better for the kids
15 December 2006 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

Director Roland Emmerich is nowadays best known as the man behind blockbusters such as "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow", big budget science-fiction films where he has shown a mastery for the use of grandiose and awe-inspiring visual effects. While he may not be the most original and artistic director, Emmerich has truly developed a style of his own, a style that owes a lot to his spiritual guides, the great 80s masters of fantasy, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg; and as this little early film named "Joey" proves, it's a style that Emmerich has been developing since the early years of his career, back when he was a young director in his natal Germany, many years before his first big hit, "Universal Soldier".

"Joey", known in the U.S. as "Making Contact", is the story of a 9 years old kid named Joey (Joshua Morrell), who after the tragic death of his father, begins to experience psychic powers allowing him to move inanimate objects with his mind, set things on fire and even to communicate him with his dead father. However, not everything is good for Joey as his newly gained powers accidentally awake an evil supernatural force that is contained inside the body of an old ventriloquist's dummy that Joey found in an abandoned house. The supernatural Dummy shows similar powers to Joey's, and soon he puts the lives of everyone near Joey in danger as the evil Dummy has dark plans for Joey's special powers.

Written by Emmerich himself, along with Hans J. Haller and Thomas Lechner, "Joey" is pretty much a supernatural horror movie on the lines of Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg's "Poltergeist", but done with the approach of a fantasy movie for children (like "E.T.", also by Spielberg). The premise is very original, but sadly the script's development is quite typical of its time, although to be fair with it, the German version of the film (that runs 20 minutes longer) is a slight but noticeable improvement over the dubbed U.S. version. Focused on Joey, the film works more as a creepy adventure film than a horror movie, mainly because the story is written in a way that highlights the main character's fight versus the evil force instead of the horror created by the Dummy.

While the movie focuses on the action and adventure, this is not to say the film doesn't have good creepy moments, as it is packed with some very good (for the budget) visual dark imagery that forecasts Emmerich's taste for big budget special effects. It's really interesting what he does with his minimal resources, and one can say that at this early point in his career he knew the kind of films he wanted to do in the future. As with the script, the German uncut version allows a better picture of Emmerich's direction, that while not really masterful, it's competent and effective for the kind of movie he was trying to make. The similitude with "E.T." and "Poltergeist" is not gratuitous, as nods to both Spielberg and Lucas are very common in the film; this just shows how much the young German director admired his heroes.

The cast is really average, and this is really one of the film's weakest points, as the lack of experience of the cast (specially of the kids) becomes increasingly notorious given the fact that the director was at this point unexperienced as well (and being honest, directing actors has never been Emmerich's strongest characteristic). Anyways, Eva Kryll is the only actress with real experience, and as such delivers the best performance of the film, although her character is really small and doesn't really have enough screen time. Also, I guess one can say that the casting of Joshua Morrell was truly inspired, as the young actor really looked natural in front of the camera.

As written above, the unexperienced young cast paired with the unexperienced young director is likely a deadly combination for any film, and "Joey" has this as its biggest flaw. However, Emmerich manages to pull off a nice entertaining adventure of this that while not perfect, is a lot better than what could had been. The script isn't really amazing, and at times shows up some serious plot holes, but nothing really to worry about. "Joey" was intended to be a children's horror movie, and in that aspect it succeeds, as this movie is the perfect introduction to the horror genre for young children.

I can not recommend this movie to everyone, as definitely it won't be attractive to the average horror fan, but I'm sure the kids will enjoy it a lot more, as the movie has a nice mix of horror, adventure and comedy. "Joey", like Emmerich's other early films ("The Noah's Ark Principle" and "Moon 44"), shows the young talent of a visionary master of visual effects, that while probably not a very accomplished director, manages to make entertaining and attractive films that deliver good doses of entertainment. "Joey", or "Making Contact", is definitely one of the best horrors to enjoy with the kids, although it doesn't really offer something for the grown-up crowd. 6/10

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