The Call Up (2016) Poster

(2016)

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6/10
Inventive, immersive and entertaining with a bit of an anti-climax
jaffa_cake-474393 July 2016
As someone who used to enjoy gaming a lot before the house was taken over by a wee one, I have to say, the kind of virtual reality shown in this movie seemed like a dream. Thing is, it very quickly turns into a nightmare. I can imagine most Gamers would enjoy the movie, even if it were only for the possibilities....

The movie follows a group of elite Gamers who are called up to try out a new virtual reality experience. When things quickly take a sinister turn, are the best-of-the-best good enough to finish the game?

I enjoyed The Call Up as I quickly became engaged with the characters. The acting was solid and the special effects were spot on. It takes you to the next level of game-play and makes you think about what we actually do in games when we're blowing each others heads off. There is a kind of predictability of sorts, but that would be nigh on impossible for this not to be the case and it's not as if the entire story is wide open.

The ending was a bit of an anticlimax, but in actual fact, this probably is a good thing given the mood of the movie.

I did enjoy the movie and would recommend it to any Gamers or avid movie watchers. It's never going to be a blockbuster or total crowd pleaser, but I didn't feel I'd wasted time by watching it (how I judge most movies) and I wouldn't be averse to watching it again. If you don't find the prospect of virtual reality intriguing or feel like gaming is for kids, then probably best to give this one a wide berth.
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7/10
Nothing exceptional, but actually decent.
Callista_CM3 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I really don't get why some people hate this movie so much. The actors are pretty decent for this kind of movie and while you sometime think the characters are being plain stupid, i'd be willing to bet if it happened for real, it would be worse, regular people in life or death situation are scared and dumb.

The character development could be better, but there's enough of it to get the story going, there's the scared youngster, the good guy, the hopeless nerd, the jerk, the ex-soldier... sure it doesn't go real deep into details, but you get a pretty good sense of the kind of people they are.

The plot is interesting, the cgi is good enough, there's plenty of AAA movies that did way worse out there and incoming (supposedly scary cartoony looking neon ghost anyone?).

So yeah, 7/10 for me, i liked it.
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6/10
Solid action film with a sci-fi premise
ruthmarybennett3 August 2016
I love sci-fi that explores the human impact of developments in technology and the premise for The Call-Up promises plenty of that. How do different personalities react when they realise that the VR game they've been invited to participate in is more sinister than it first appeared?

Although this central dilemma is prominent in the first part of the film, once the plot gets going, the action leads and the pace keeps you engaged as the characters are forced to learn quickly and figure out whether to work together or turn against each other. The way that the film's perspective mirrors that of the protagonists as they switch between 'real' and 'virtual' is impressive and compelling to watch.

I would have liked to see a bit more focus on the psychology of the premise, but with a concept of this scope, there's only so much you can cover, and the action-movie elements win out. The effects are impressive for a low-budget debut and I found the acting convincing, although there isn't much nuance to the characters.

Worth a watch if you enjoy action films that make you think.
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6/10
Not bad at all...See for yourself
brockleyavenue15 June 2016
I'm a little stunned at some of the bad reviews this movies has had. It isn't that bad at all. It has it's typical character types for a movie of this type to give the story a bit of 'zap' and these characters emerge immediately. It's well done for a low budget movie, with good acting and directing ideas, and for once, I didn't pre-empt what the ending would be like. I was a little surprised, which doesn't happen often, yet viewers will determine the way the movie will go, as that is what it is..a game. I can tell you, there are some shocking movies out there that have ratings too high, with acting so laughable and the directing a nightmare to watch, yet this movie holds it own, actors and direction. See for yourself.
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8/10
Really enjoyed "The Call Up"!
RobbieSDA22 June 2016
Am glad I watched this movie before reading reviews from this site!

As someone who is not usually much for action movies, but am a gamer and love technology, this movie was very intriguing and enjoyable.

While there may very well have been weaknesses in the film, by allowing myself to feel a part of the experience and engage what was presented, I found the movie to be very good.

I went in with no particular expectations, and walked away sufficiently happy with my viewing, even to the point of encouraging another friend to watch it as well.

Yes, the movie is a bit weak in the acting/story at times, and somewhat predictable. But, if you can watch it for what it is, and enjoy the unique aspects of the movie and set aside the points I mention above, you can also have a positive viewing of this movie.

The Virtual Reality aspect of this movie was what drew me to it, and the presentation of the VR was excellent to me. It looked cool and was believable.

Still find it hard to see why some people are rating this movie so harshly. Was it an Emmy winner? Um, no. Was it a nice sci-fi action flick with a VR twist worth watching? For me, absolutely!
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6/10
Not bad
Valorum29 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The cinematography was pretty solid. It starts off well, the concept was decent. A lot more thought went into this then some other big budget movies with logic not completely discarded. Yes it was a little predictable but still entertaining. There was no point where I had the impression of it being "cheap". I think it's unfair to rate it as low as some others have done.

I think resorting to faking the reviews irritates people and is self-destructive in the long run hence why some extreme reactions and very bad reviews.

My only issue was the final 10 seconds of the film. I would have taken "the bag", I think anyone in that position would have. I understand why this wasn't done, "symbolism" but I believe it would have been much more creative to have the person in question go back at the last minute just when everyone would have thought, it wouldn't be the case, and the final final scene is the person leaving with it.
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3/10
Far too many shill accounts on IMDb to consider reviews honest on new movies
allenandginter25 May 2016
Well, I knew it was a long shot that a movie with under 20 reviews ( It has 29 at the writing of this) was an honest review. Friends of cast,cast, employees of production companies, etc. I get it though. A falsely inflated review get's you to spend that cash only to be face palming 2 hours later. The Cinematography was solid. No back yard iPhone movie here. The intro CGI was done well. The CGI in the movie was BAD...the acting was worse. Thee were 2 people whom could act, the others...just were bad. Right down to the final, badly written and poorly acted, scene The plot was as transparent as glass with nothing "Surprising" in the entire movie. In my day we would have called it a "Straight to video" movie. IMO, this should have been a straight to youtube movie.
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10/10
Give this one a go, it deserves it.
ads-contact27 May 2016
I'm going to give this a nine to counteract the people who gave this movie low marks. This is an excellent psychological thriller with very original premise. The computer game scenario gave this movie the kind of freshness that The Matrix had. A fairly straight forward plot and limited dialogue it had the feel of a J.G Ballard novel, the director handled the whole 'alternative world encroaching on our so-called real world' context with style and focus. One barely felt the low budget. People who didn't like this film are clearly not very movie literate and have probably overdosed on Hollywood CGI monsters. Give this one a go, it deserves it.
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7/10
Good ol' unpretentious fun
rizzileonardo7 August 2016
I saw the film at a sci-fi festival and found the premise absolutely engaging. Without giving away too much of the story, this is one of those movies that grabs something familiar from the contemporary world and takes it to the extreme, with fascinating consequences. Mixing VR and reality is the holy grail of gamers, but the sort of scenario described here is chilling, to say the least. Funnily, the writer-director takes every trope of the first-person shooter and turns it into a clever detail. And that's where most of the fun comes from. The characters conveniently follow the group casting of any slasher, with all the classic types and a couple of surprises. Maybe I would have wished these characters to be a bit more explored and a little less action scenes, but you can't fault this film for doing what most FPS do! Good fun
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5/10
Not Terrible, Not Great
shanefoutz25 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This movie has a lot of promise, but it just fails to deliver every time you look. You come into the movie thinking it will be like gamer, and in truth it is to an extent. But something just doesn't seem right as you watch it. Something feels, off.

The plot gives itself away at times but it's not paper thin. Some people will say it is, but that seems more like someone bitter they watched the movie. Overall though, the plot feels very thin. It feels like a movie that could have had more substance but was afraid to. It seemed like while they could have really made something unique, they were too busy catering to the "YEAAAA!!! ACTION!!!" crowd and even that wasn't done well.

The acting... The acting is absolutely dreadful. Nothing feels true throughout the whole movie. Lines delivered poorly, emotion feels completely faked and all motion seems like someone shouted "Now, go to the next room in a hurry!".

It has moments of suspense, moments of action but overall the whole performance falls rather flat. I would really recommend watching it once and then putting it from your mind. It's a movie that can expand your mind, let you think further than the producers did and after that, discard it.
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8/10
Very Good! Those who left low ratings shouldn't have done so.
peetamellarkmail23 June 2016
This movie is full of action and suspense. Haves some similarities of the Cube series, but while being very different. If you like Cube, then you'll probably like this. I'm not going to post anything about the movie containing spoilers. You'll have to watch it yourself! That being said, don't join a contest without looking into it! Also, don't be stupid and try your best! This movie contains footage of gamer noobs doing stupid things like wasting grenades, wasting ammo, and making unnecessary noises, and being bad team members is general. Viewer discretion is advised! I rate this movie PG for no pornographic scenes, but usage of colorful language.
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10/10
Very cool movie. Not the usual scenarios.
toonarly27 May 2016
If your looking for avatar, watch avatar. If you want an unusual immersive "virtual" gaming movie that brings back visions of the original doom type video games then this is it. It's not super high tech or a mega Hollywood production, but this shows that anyone with good creative ideas and some cool imagination can make a good movie. Those critics and users who gave this a low rating were expecting avatar and already established directors and actors.

Rate this for what it is, a low budget thriller in a virtual world, enjoy it for what it is. It's very well done and acted also. You won't be disappointed unless you wanted avatar.

Put yourself in any of the "gamers" positions and if it was actually a "real" scenario it would be very similar to what is portrayed. The trials bring the "strangers" together as a cohesive unit. Grab some popcorn and a friend and enjoy! But don't expect avatar and you'll be good. Awesome flick!
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8/10
Not Bad At All
lnking-2318029 May 2016
For a low budget and a persons first movie to write and direct wow. At first I thought oh no here we again, cheesy. But giving it a chance I was completely entertained. They used just enough to keep you wanting to see it through to the end, fore I for one had to know what was going to happen and was not disappointed. I give this 8/10.The acting mostly was acceptable except for a couple of the characters but over all not bad for generally unknowns. Stick with it past the 1st 10-15 minutes and I think you would like it. This is a movie that should be liked by the gaming community especially as it will really make them want more from the systems they use, or maybe less? This last statement is not a spoiler for if you see the trailer or read the synopsis everyone knows it's a game.
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9/10
Definitely worth watching!!
tigerjusten13 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this film was very entertaining and well done for a low- budget production. The visual effects were really good and I enjoyed the realization of the VR.

The plot of the movie is very interesting, especially in a time where there is a lot of controversy about Gamers and how their consume affects their willingness to actually perform violent acts.

**SPOILER** After the Gamers realize that they can actually get killed and kill each other, they are mostly not willing to do it. ** SPOILER END**

As the main part of the movie was a bit predictable (not more than any big production though) the ending actually really shocked and surprised me.

So I would advice anyone who is interested in gaming or in an entertaining movie to watch the call up, definitely worth it!
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9/10
A worth seeing film
hannahmadsen5 August 2016
I've watched The Calll Up with a friend who's really into Action and Sci-Fi - what I can definitely not say about myself, however I surprisingly enjoyed watching The Call Up. 

One of reasons why I found this movie so interesting is that it riggered an inner conflict. I kept asking myself the whole time if everything is reality or just fictional. I couldn't wait to find out what will happen at the end - and I must say it was shocking ( I don't want to spoil it). 

Furthermore I liked the development of the individual characters. The film brought up the human behaviour in an extreme situation - which I thought was fascinating!

Another aspect about The Call Up I really like is the design - I loved the suits and the difference between the two worlds. 

Although The Call Up is very violent ( A bit too brutal for my taste), it's definitely fun to watch!
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7/10
Not great, but not bad
jamesalexanderdickerson18 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Some of the people writing reviews obviously didn't understand the film. It's definitely not a bad film, although it was a bit cliché in some areas.

***SPOILER ALERT***

A group of various gamers have volunteered for a chance to win $100,000. They first arrive not knowing what to expect. They are given special suits and begin a VR simulation. They eventually discover that if you die in the game, you die in real life.

***ENDING SPOILER***

One of the gamers is a routine player (rich upper class) who gets his/her sick thrills from playing and winning.
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1/10
Awful
bm-ghost-z13 August 2016
I don't give this move a zero because I can't.

This movie is in plain terms, horrible. The script is horrible, the acting too, the whole thing is predictable. We were 3 persons watching it and we were all shocked by this movie, and the ending... No words.

If anyone sees this don't lose your time with this movie, no script, no good acting and the movie itself doesn't even explain what the hell is happening.

We waited for the end to explain something but not, it's just the simplest thing anyone could have thought. When the movie is running, you start thinking that it's going all to be a filler thing until in the end something's explained, but sadly not.

Just don't watch this thing, there are other interesting movies out there.
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6/10
Not Bad - Very Reminiscent of "The Subjects" (2015)
abrogaten17 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Its an alright last resort when you're out of other movies to watch I guess.

Like "The Subjects", people (loners that no one will look for) are lured in by money to become subjects for what seems like a test/experiment that they were never explained about.

Many archetypal characters are involved like the annoying, whining, panicky, ones and false tough guys, the instantaneous couple, the one competent guy, UK's gratuitous minority of a misunderstood middle eastern.

The movie tries to explore topics of humanity in distress, man is the real monster, what we'll do to survive or to feel relevant/significant and some slight redeeming features. Not sure what their stance or conclusion on this is suppose to be, and I suppose they are relevant topics beaten to the death with a stick.

I may sound cynical and sarcastic but I'm a cine-phile so I've seen one too many of this. Overall its not a bad watch, even though it tries to make the viewers think, I personally didn't.
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3/10
Interesting premise that was poorly executed with bad CGI, acting and soundtrack
tecnogaming27 July 2016
Since IMDb is filled now with fake reviews and comments about this movie I feel compelled to write my opinion, trying to balance the force a little.

I tried the movie with my kid, I got the title and was very intrigued that it's gonna be an Occulus 3.0 experience or something of the sort.

I gotta say this, because this is a review and I'm gonna be honest, the premise was good, the first act (the preparation) was solid but the director slipped through it's fingers some errors that are worth checking.

First of all, this is a movie about Gamers that somehow are living in a future earth, so, they have super advanced smartphones and cards with screens but they somehow have video games with pre-xbox360 graphics (despicted on the game-play from the screen of one of the character's home).

The movie proceed then to a nice first act in which we see the Gamers prepping for the game. The offices, the suits and the helmets were a nice touch and I must say they were a good fit to the movie (if not one of the strongest points).

BUT As soon as the actions starts (the first 10 minutes of VR) you kinda see what the rest of the movie will be like.

The scenery is EXTREMELY limited, the script is non-existent, the "missions" stops being missions and starts being just "walk and kill", not a single video game of this era will support this kind of nonsense gaming, they need to have a plausible argument.

In this movie, the director switches the argument for the character development, he places all the stereotypical ones, the shy girl, the psycho, the ego-maniac fat guy who lives in the basement, the.. you get the point. Not a single stereotype was missing, this.. was not a good starting point, to be honest.

Since the movie is all about them, we get lost in a sea of corridors, switching from room A to room B and then to Room C, but then you kinda get the point. There is NO room D ! The whole movie is filmed in no more than 3 rooms, and 1 or 2 corridors with very poor scenery, they even had the guts to film several scenes with the same rooms in the same angle !. IF you're going to film a movie with few rooms at least try to switch angles.

Tip to the director: YOU CAN make a good movie with no scenery at all, I know you know because this movie seems to follow the same progression as the movie THE CUBE. Yes, you can bet. Those who saw the movie will see the similarities.

The ending was good but again, too similar to the movie THE CUBE.

For anyone reading this review, if you somehow liked the premise and you still didn't know what THE CUBE is, go watch it and you'll be amazed, that's a serious SCI FI horror movie worth of your consideration.

This movie could of been so much better if they hired better actors, Morfydd Clark was the only one doing a good job, all the rest was mediocre, being the guy who acted as "the Sargent" one of the worse actors I ever seen in my life.

Finally, I would not dare to speak too much about the music because I do really believe that the musician is just incompetent. Trying to make a soundtrack about a VR video game with CASIO tone music from the 80's is only gonna make Gamers more angry at you.

Gamers are not dumb stereotypes like the ones in the movie, that listen to CASIO tone music, stuck in a basement and still playing 1995 games. The world has changed, video game industry has evolved to a point in which soundtracks are becoming an essential part of any video game. I've seen incredible soundtracks from games where the budget was 3 times less than budget movies so this is really not an excuse to make an horrible soundtrack.

Talking about FX on this one is like talking about how does a video game looked 5 years ago, because, seriously, the CGI was so bad that my Xbox can render better in-game graphics than some of the scenes of this movie, specially the "exteriors". They could be avoided and we should of get a much better product. Bad FX tend to somehow hurt a movie much more than it should.

Good movies could be made with almost no special effects and there are plenty of examples out there. As a rule of thumb, if you're not going to produce an acceptable FX, it's better not to do it and hide it, it's gonna be a much better overall execution than to do it badly, tons of directors did great things following this path.

All in all, the movie premise was good, the execution was really poor, all the middle is just expendable material and the ending is good but since it's almost a ripoff from THE CUBE and others, it doesn't create a rewarding experience.

The only redeeming factors of this movie are: the first minutes, the concept, some bits of the ending and the legs of Morfydd Clark on that amazing suit, that's it.

The movie is a solid 3/10 If you somehow are a fan of budget movies, there are WAY better movies out there. You can start by watching Kill Command for example.
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8/10
The offspring of Call of Duty and Tron
katielarajennings20 May 2016
Had the chance to see this intense and claustrophobic thriller at the Sci-Fi London film festival. The idea behind The Call Up is simple and clean, which makes it all the more effective and terrifying. A group of gamers are invited to a sterile office block to road test a state-of-the-art VR game. As the game kicks in they find themselves immersed in a gritty war zone with Kalashnikov wielding terrorists around every corner. But as the bullets fly, they realize that the danger is all too real. For me the use of a cast of talented unknowns added to the tension. You just don't know who's going to bite the bullet first. While most effects-led films leave me a bit cold, this had me on the edge of my seat. I had to watch parts of it through my fingers – and I wasn't the only one. If you like your cinema visceral and visually unique check it out.
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8/10
It's amazing such a good film was written and directed by a guy working on his FIRST full-length film!!
MartinHafer25 May 2016
"The Call Up" really surprised me...and pleasantly so. Although this production was written and directed by a man with very little experience in the industry, Charles Barker, and the film most likely had a very small budget, it sure looked good and kept my interest throughout. Who knew that a guy making his first full-length film could come up with something as good as this?!

In the opening credits, you can see that various online gamers are receiving a special invitation to play some new video game. So why would these folks want to try it other than because it's so new? Well, the winner or winners will receive $100,000 each! That is a pretty nifty incentive and soon this small group of invitees arrive at an otherwise empty office building. A voice over the intercom tells them to put on their gaming gear--roughly a costume that looks like it's from the game Halo. So far, so good...until they activate their suits. They are instantly taken into a completely real environment--and it all disappears when they de-activate their suits. Cool...this looks like it is going to be absolutely amazing and several of these gamers are stoked....until one of them gets shot. It feels completely real and the pain is overwhelming. Good thing each of the gamers was given one emergency hypo--which restores them back to health. But what happens when a person is shot after they've used this hypo? Well, one of them soon dies..for real!! And soon they are battling virtual reality terrorists in a kill or be killed game designed by some company or government or madman! As the bodies begin to pile up, you soon wonder if any of them are going to make it out alive. And, if so,...how?!

This film is some ways reminds me of the Japanese film, "Battle Royale" but it is different enough to be well worth seeing. In particular, unlike the Japanese film, you find out exactly how and why it's all happening and there is a clear and perfect resolution. There also are plenty of excellent twists and unexpected turns in the film as well. In addition, the gear and special effects they created for the film look amazing and the direction and script by Barker are very intelligently done...so much that you swear that this guy must have been doing this for a long time! Overall, a very exciting little thriller and one that deserves to be seen.

By the way, I have no idea why but although this is a British-made film, the characters mostly speak with American accents and the city appears, at least to me, to be New York where the film is supposed to be set. You wouldn't think it was a British film just by watching it. Regardless...see the movie!
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10/10
Movie is surprisingly good.
joyview26 May 2016
I was really in the moment and shared some feeling or mindset with players. Most of mainstream and top rated movies just feels empty to me or stupid. It's usual for top movie like "Avengers" to logically end where it started if you think. This movie is intelligent at least in a way I don't have to explain to myself that some moves are illogical or plain stupid and just to create more drama. Here I felt really emerged and my inner critic was fine :-) 10 out of 10 because I feel this movie deserves much more than 5 stars. I don't have to say anything bad about it. First music was kinda cheap but than I haven't noticed. I first saw rating and saw nice graphics and it was little bit boring first. So I thought it's probably will have long pauses just to fill the spaces and weird confused actors strange camera views as it usually happens with movies with 5 stars. But not!) I am surprised.
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4/10
How to SCREW UP a nice concept. ----SPOILER ALERT----
erkolege13 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie because simulation is a rare and nice concept, if its presented in a good way. But The Call Up is one of the WORST examples of simulation concept.

Character selection is pretty classic. One fat guy, one muscular but angry man, one coward girl, one handsome guy who falls in love with another beautiful girl, one experienced guy who dies in the first 30 minutes. Character stereotypes could be much different.

Sounds are not much catchy, just a disturbing sound when tension rises. (which makes it totally predictable)

The filming was not much more then an amateur job. As I searched the filmography of the director, Charles Baker, I found out that The Call Up was his first long-shot movie experience. The shooting of the city, cars, streets and building in the transitions broke the claustrophobic environment which was created by the script (locked doors,suits which can't be removed), which is a negative point. It was not a disturbing shooting but also not a one that deserves an appreciate.

The story begins with focusing on T3rrorist#1 / Zahid, so it makes the audience think he will have a big role. He starts with a cold- blooded and calm personality, a nice stereotype for cinema. But suddenly, he starts making stupid things and dies. Giving importance to a character and killing it makes the script worse,

The worst part of the story was the final, totally predictable and no sense. The description of Edward makes totally no sense. It just made us find some answers about the script, for example the wrong password thing. As a part of audience, I was expecting a better twist in the ending.

IF YOU ASK ME HOW COULD IT BE A GREAT ENDING: The player who wins the game gets too insane about dead people and things happened, so he/she takes the lead for the next game. The previous winner makes the game stay in its order. In this way, there is an explanation for Edward, that he was the previous winner. And when he's shot, we see that this game has no winners, the winner also dies because of the next winner. By this endless loop, the movie could end with an interesting ending. But it finished with the worst ending possible, that Shelly leaves the building and normal life continues.

PS: I just realized that the story is so similar to The Cube's, according to characterization and writing. I think The Cube was taken as an examples for the scriptwriters. If you like this movie you should also watch The Cube.
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1/10
Awful movie!!!
alecova28 May 2016
I watched it with another gamer and I have to say that we rather watch paint dry on a wall...

The acting is awful, the music sounds a lot like a suspense or horror movie from the 80's! Lousy for this age.

The only thing I liked was the suits. That's it!!

The trailer shows a promising movie but it sucked so much that right after the "game" starts I got so bored I almost felt asleep. I just watched it to see which lousy character/"actor/actress" survived.

As another reviewer said, the good reviews about this movie must be from friends/family/people that worked on the movie...because it really sucks. Too bad, the idea for the movie was good.
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9/10
When coding can kill!
AnushkaC22 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Sci-fi films are pretty much an anathema to me and gaming even more so. The nearest I have come to virtual reality would have been some trips to Laser Quest in the 1990s and, no, I did not enjoy them. I fell asleep in the latest Star Wars film and although I very much respected and enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy, any fighting or battles scenes brought on instant bouts of narcolepsy.

So when this merchant ivory, vom com, art house and 'film philosphe' aficionado went to see a virtual reality horror film, the best I was hoping for was not to fall asleep....and fall asleep I did not!

The opening sequence was sheer quality and had me hooked from the start. It was hard to believe I was watching a low budget film when the finish, style and inventiveness of The Call Up was better than many Hollywood blockbusters. Compared to other low budget films I have seen, this struck me as a masterclass demonstrating what can be produced on a low budget and is testimony to the quality of production and direction of Charles Barker.

The iconic virtual reality costumes, the charismatic mix of personalities amongst the gamers taking part in the virtual reality fantasy turned horror film and the human interest, comedy and plot twist make it much more than a genre film. Attractive actors with star potential were in abundance. Morfydd Clark had a similar screen presence and quality to Daisy Ridley of Star Wars fame. Seeing as The Call Up would have been filmed long before the Star Wars film came out, The Call-Up was quite uncannily predictive of the current vogue of sci-fi screen heroine. That said, every gamer actor, although clearly exhibiting all too human emotions when realising they were in a shooting game with real and visceral consequences, managed to tap into their inner hero.

Whereas the reviews will say that this film appeals primarily to gamers and I full admit that any nods to character tropes and lines from games such as Call of Duty were completely wasted on me, the human interest of the characters and the suspense as to who would be next to succumb and why kept my attention throughout.

Of equal interest, was the question posed as to the nefarious effects of artificial intelligence. We are in a position where we could not only create something powerful enough to destroy us but would also permit it to do so due to the fact that we are so already ensconced in a virtual world that it is perfectly feasible that we would willingly entrust our bodies to a futuristic looking virtual reality armour suit given to us by an anonymous corporation. A skillful effect is that the blurring of the distinction between what we would do in a virtual reality world as oppose to real life increases throughout the film yet we are reminded of the stark visual contrast between the real world and war scene by the constant flip up and down of the gamers helmet visors in parallel.

As in The Hunger Games or William Golding's Lord of the Flies, we get to explore that question that we must pose ourselves from time to time as human beings as to how life would really play out if it was a survival of the fittest game. The vast majority of us are lucky enough never to have to put our theories to the test, yet this is surely the ultimate question we ask ourselves to understand what is at the core of human existence. So, we should indulge ourselves this foray into a virtual reality dystopia and explore The Call-Up now!
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