Luke, Jaimy Homberg (“The Dolls (Short)”, “Stalked (TV)”) has great news to tell his friends Sidney, Billionna Olivia Reyes (“Joel”, “Signs (Short)”), Elle, Amber Romero (“Choke (Short)”, “Shattered (Short)”) & Nico, JohnPeter Johnson (“Finding Chipa (TV)”) as well as his long-distance boyfriend Jesse, James Burleson (“Inhumane”, “Detour (Short)”) over Skype.
After gathering all together, Luke and Jesse decide to ditch their three friends and start a private conversation to have some one-on-one fun; until Peter Loft, Johnnie Brannon (“Ridge Runners”, “Dorm Troopers”), a famous serial killer, creeps into their Skype chat and forces them to reveal the cracks in their relationship through a dangerous game of truth or dare.
The plot sound familiar? It is indeed dangerously close to the premise of the first Unfriended movie. While I personally love the screen-capture gimmick and would never say no to more of it, Let’s Chat doesn’t really try to do anything more with it than what has already been done, both regarding the gimmick itself and the story justifying its use.
There is a good last-minute plot-twist that makes the short film stand out from its spiritual predecessors, but it’s not impactful enough to make the preceding twenty minutes entirely worth it.
The runtime is actually one of the film’s main mistakes. The introduction (before Peter Loft arrives to shake things up) drags endlessly to introduce side-characters that don’t serve any purpose plot-wise and disappear halfway through anyway; the film would have benefited from keeping to the two main characters and foster an intimate and claustrophobic atmosphere.
It doesn’t seem to be the intended purpose, but surprisingly Let’s Chat works rather well as a parody of its subgenre by playing straight into some of its tropes.
Indeed, when the omnipresent soundtrack only stops to make place for slapstick sound effects that are supposed to accentuate a characters’ punchline, it does feel a lot like a comedy.
Ultimately, while Let’s Chat might not be the horror film it wishes to be, it still finds its appeal if viewed through a different lens, and the energy and work put behind it by Jaime Homberg – who is credited as director, writer, producer, main actor and possibly more (the credits don’t mention the editor for example) – makes me exciting to see what he will do next.