Nov 10

Making Contact

makingcontactGenre: Horror
Year: 1985
Country: USA

aka: Joey

Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Joshua Morrell, Eva Kryll, Tammy Shields, Jan Zierold, Barbara Klein


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


Note: This review is based on the 76 minute long US cut. There is a German Cut available titled Joey, which is 20 minutes longer.

Joey is a young kid who is going through some rough times. He is not very popular at his school and recently his father passed away. One night something strange happens in his room, toys start to move by themself, a very evil-looking ventriloquist dummy wants his soul, and his toy phone starts to ring. Joey is convinced that it’s his father who is calling him from beyond the grave. After this strange night, Joey also seems to be able to move things with his thoughts which attracts unwanted attention by people around them. In the end the dummy is able to trap Joey and a few of his bullies from school and now they have to stand together to fight for their freedom.

In the 80’s there where a lot of horror/fantasy movies for children and families. Movies such as Silver Bullet, The Goonies and even Poltergeist could be enjoyable for both the young and the older family members. I’m not sure why they have stopped doing this since a lot of them where quite successful back in the day, but I would welcome this type of horror films again these days.

While the three movies I mentioned where fun and good movies, Making Contact is just a big mess. The German cut that is 20 minutes longer has to be a lot better than this, cause it feels just cut to pieces. Even though Emmerich’s later work (Independence Day, Godzilla) includes a lot of movies I don’t care much about, they still feel better put together and coherent than this one. Emmerich also tries to make a Spielberg movie here, it feels like everything from E.T. to Poltergeist was highly influential to Making Contact which makes this one seem to not have an own soul at all. it simply fails to show any charm that the movies it tries to emulate has.

Joshua Morrell plays Joey, and he never did anything else before or after this one. His mother Laura is played by Eva Kryll and she has continued to work steadily ever since this one, which was her debut aswell. The special effects in the movie is good and it looks like they had a good budget which was sadly in the end not used correctly.

Making Contact is sadly a failure. I am sure that a look at how it turned out this way would be more interesting than the movie itself. While it is not the worst movie you could find, I don’t see how anyone would enjoy it very much.





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