Rating: Not Rated
Cast: Jonah Ehrenreich, Stephen Ohl, Julia Molins, Natascha Wiese
Writer: Pablo Larcuen, Eduard Sola
Director: Pablo Larcuen
Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment
Release Date: April 7, 2015

HOOKED UP proudly embraces the fact that the entire movie was shot using an iPhone. While this probably is bragging rights in some circles, I’m not sure if you should be proud of the achievement. Do many people rent video-on-demand features with the intention of seeing craptacular video quality? And while found footage and retro-set films have used filters and special effects to introduce bad looking video quality, I’m pretty sure the majority of viewers aren’t excited to see how a small device can capture a full length feature rather than if it is a good storyline and in horror the special effects are decent.

Now to be honest, the iPhone quality isn’t all that bad. You can see what’s going on easily and the found footage obligatory shaky cam is about the same as other films using regular equipment – which means they probably mounted the iPhone to some rig. But even by today’s standards of smartphones, you can only go so far with it, and it shows in the overall quality.

The story follows Peter (Stephen Ohl) and Tonio (Jonah Ehrenreich) as they travel to Barcelona to have a good time, find some girls and drink a lot. When they befriend a local woman she takes them back to her place and they find themselves trapped in a haunted house by a ghost bent on taking revenge on anyone that crosses her path.

But beyond just the video quality, HOOKED UP is filled with horrible lines of dialogue that are laugh-out-loud funny. Just minutes, literally minutes, after Peter punches Tonio for lying about something about his ex-girlfriend (who Peter is obsessed about during the entire film) and tells him he hopes he dies in the apartment, Tonio accidently hits Peter thinking he was the ghost. Peter then says “This is how you treat your friends huh?” Wait, not more than 300 seconds ago you told him he hoped he died and not only hit him but made him walk through a floor filled with candles after the ghost dumped gasoline on them.

The bit with Peter pining for his girl is a theme that stretches the entire movie and becomes the focal point as he becomes more crazed with the situation. It drives him in many directions and to take many error-filled pathways until it HOOKED UP reaches its conclusion. However, you’d think that even with his mind being turned inside out because of the terrible situation, you’d be more concerned about escaping rather than appeasing a girlfriend that treats you now as somebody she used to know.

Of course, you couldn’t a movie called HOOKED UP without said hooking up taking place and lucky a couple of unknowns are gladly to oblige and for what they saved on video equipment looks like went into the special effects budget as the blood and make-up effects are pretty good for the most part. That or the iPhone is more liberal in how it presents gnarly footage.

Overall, you could do a lot worse than HOOKED UP and for the naked chicks, the decent special effects and foreboding situation it might be worth checking out if you haven’t burned yourself out on found footage shaky cam fare.

HOOKED UP is available on VOD now.

Related: DVD/Digital Release Review: DIGGING UP THE MARROW

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RelatedBlu-ray/DVD Review: FEAR CLINIC

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