LAST RADIO CALL (2021)
Directed/Written by Isaac Rodriguez.
Starring Sarah Froelich, Jason Scarbrough, June Griffin Garcia, Ali Alkhafaji, Keekee Suki
Find out more about this film here!
When a police officer David Serling (Jason Scarbrough) goes missing due to strange circumstances in a haunted asylum, his distressed wife Sarah (Sarah Froelich) hires an investigative crew to document her attempts to find out what happened to him. This leads Sarah down a dark road involving ancient spirits, medical abuse, and a unrestful spirit named Mary (June Griffin Garcia) who haunts the asylum. Sarah’s search forces her to recreate the final moments of her husband’s life recorded on his body cam.
I’m a sucker for found footage films and while this one might not be the best, LAST RADIO CALL does have its moments of first person shocks and scares. There’s something about a camera panning across a darkened room and the tension build when you know somewhere in the dark, something is lurking and ready to lunge right at you. It’s basically the scenario that is the foundation of many found footage films. While much of the in between on LAST RADIO CALL isn’t that suspenseful or terrifying, the film is bookended by two very effective handheld footage clips that work terrifyingly well.
The acting is not great. Sarah Froelich is ok as the determined widow, but many of the people she encounters don’t really feel like they are being captured naturally on film. The trick with all acting in film is that the actors have to seem like they aren’t acting even though they are. This is especially important with found footage horror as the camera is supposed to be featuring non actors genuinely displaying emotions. In LAST RADIO CALL, unfortunately, many of the actors feel as if they are reading lines and not just coming up with the words in the spur of the moment.
Because Sarah is desperate to find out what happened to her husband, she follows a bunch of leads. Some are dead ends. Some don’t seem to matter at all. While this might feel like a real investigation, it still is a story and these moments feel more like distractions in a meandering script than a focused journey. But, even though the acting has some issues and the script is kind of scattershot, LAST RADIO CALL does have a pair of winners in the beginning and ending segments. For that I give it a passing recommendation as these scenes really did work in making me jump and shiver.