A ChucksConnection Film Review


Jean-Baptiste Maunier and Benjamin Jungers wear blue and red high top Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Stars in the film.



by Hal Peterson


Hellphone still 1

Sid goes to impress Angie and her friends with his skateboarding prowess.


Sid Soupir (Jean Baptiste Maunier) has a crush on Angie (Jennifer Decker). But Jennifer is one of the in-crowd popular girls at their high school, while Sid mostly spends his time skateboarding through the streets of Paris with his best friend Pierre, aka Tiger (Benjamin Jungers). Tiger (Pierre) advises Sid to just go and talk to Angie, but Sid figures that he needs to impress her first. He decides to do this by demonstrating some of his skateboarding moves. While Angie is walking down the sidewalk with her two best friends, Margot (Judith Chemla) and Clemence (Anaïs Demoustier), he skates in front of them and is showing off until he crashes into a vegetable cart that he didn’t see. While Margot and Clemence are laughing uproariously, Angie helps Sid up and agrees to meet him some time for a date, asking for Sid’s cell phone number. But Sid doesn’t have a cell phone.


Hellphone still 2

Angie is the girl of Sid’s dreams.


Now determined to get a cell phone of his own, Sid tries to gather up the money to buy one, but can only raise €30, not enough for a normal cell phone. At a small shop run by an unscrupulous shop owner, the only phone he can afford is a small red model with horns on one end, called a Hellphone. Even that is a rip off, because the phone doesn’t even work. But when Sid pays for the phone, it suddenly comes to life in his hands. The shopkeeper tries to get the phone back, but Sid runs off with the phone. The Hellphone soon takes on a life of its own. Later at school, when Sid goes to ask Angie for her cell phone number, Clemence and Margot laugh at his Hellphone and walk off with Angie. The Hellphone doesn’t like being snubbed or made fun of, so it gets its revenge later in class, by phoning Margot and telling her to set Clemence’s hair on fire. Apparently the Hellphone has hypnotic powers over anyone it calls, but Sid doesn’t realize this yet. Gradually Sid becomes aware of the Hellphone’s weird powers over people it calls, and tells Tiger about this during math class. Their math teacher, Mr. Mazeau, is annoyed by this, and after tossing a piece of chalk at Sid, he demands that Sid provide the answer to a difficult equation. When Sid glances at the Hellphone, it displays the correct answer. Mr. Mazeau believes that Sid was cheating with his cell phone’s calculator and tosses the Hellphone out the classroom window. Sid and Pierre are assigned detention.


Hellphone still 3

Sid at home in his mother’s flat.


After class Sid is able to find his Hellphone, unharmed outside on the ground. Again the Hellphone gets its revenge. The next morning, after receiving a late night call from the Hellphone, Mr. Mazeau is found lying on the ground, his mouth filled with pieces of chalk. The principal’s secretary also gets a call from the Hellphone. Believing that it is the principal talking, she releases Sid and Pierre from their detention, and then orders the school cafeteria to replace their current menu with food from McDonalds. Pierre begins to realize the dangers of the Hellphone, and he advises Sid to get rid of it. After Sid refuses, the two use the Hellphone to go on a shopping spree at their favorite skateboarder equipment and clothing store. Another threat quickly emerges. Watching from a short distance, Virgile (Vladimir Consigny) and his friends Franklin (Eduard Collin) and David (Baptiste Caillaud) are angry that the upstart Sid is making moves on Angie, who he considers to be his girl friend, even though they are not going steady. Virgile, Franklin, and David grab Sid and Pierre one day at school, beat them up, and threaten them. Then in one of the funniest scenes in the movie, the Hellphone once again gets its revenge. Virgile receives a call from it in the cafeteria, and suddenly starts doing a wild striptease dance to boom box music, while the whole student body watches in amazement. The scene gets rowdier and more risque, culminating in a food fight.


Hellphone still 4

Sid goes to retrieve his hellphone after his math teacher throws it out the window.


With Virgile disgraced, Angie is now willing to formally date Sid. This leads to a breakup in friendship with Pierre, when Sid tells him that he won’t be going to a long awaited concert that Pierre had tickets for, so he can get dressed up in a suit and tie and go out with Angie that same evening. Late that evening, after their date, Sid is accosted by Pierre’s mother, who apparently had a crush on him and received a Hellphone call. Now Sid realizes that he must get rid of the Hellphone at all costs. He must deal with not only the Hellphone but with Virgile and his friends who are still out to get him. Luckily, Sid is able to reconnect with Pierre and enlist Angie’s help. The balance of the film deals with how he, Pierre, and Angie attempt to stop the Hellphone from causing more havoc.


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Sid and Pierre go after the Hellphone to try and prevent more damage.


Hellphone is part teen romance, part comedy, part horror, part fantasy, and part coming of age all in one beautifully shot film. It’s a shame that this film never got a release in the United States. Right now you can only get it in a Region 2 DVD release. It has a uniquely French outlook on American teen cultural norms that is quite captivating and funny. From the very beginning of the film, you are given visual treats like scenes of the two leads skateboarding the streets of Paris in mismatched high top chucks. The whole idea of the Hellphone is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the obsession with smart cell phones that has gripped the younger generations. Paris is a tremendous backdrop for any film, and the wide screen cinemaphotography by Stéphane Le Parc makes you want to hop on a jet for a visit. Even the horror scenes have quite a comedic edge to them, despite their shocking nature. Writer/director James Huth has come up with a very interesting combination of the typical teen films genres and put them together into a quite entertaining package. Hollywood take notice! The film is well cast with special kudos to Jean Baptiste Maunier as the love struck teenager trying to deal with his feelings for Angie while coping with his out of control Hellphone.


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Sid and Tiger skateboard the streets of Paris.


Best Chucks Scene


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Sid and Pierre wear mismatched pairs of high top chucks in the first part of the film.


There is a lot of wide screen cinematography in this film, but not too many close up shots. The best sequence for chucks in the film are the opening scenes, when we see Sid and Tiger skateboarding through the streets and walkways of Paris, wearing mismatched pairs of chucks in red and blue.


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Sid takes a tumble trying to prevent more damage from happening.


Toward the end of the film, chucks are a sign that Sid has returned to his senses. He abandons wearing the Vans that he got through the Hellphone during Tiger’s and his shopping spree at the skateboarder store. Now he is seen wearing a matched pair of blue high tops chucks.


Hellphone still 9

Sid falls over a garbage container he didn’t see while trying to impress Angie and her friends.


Hellphone. (2007) Jean-Baptiste Maunier, Jennifer Decker, Benjamin Jungers, Vladimir Consigny, Edouard Collin, Baptiste Caillaud, Anaïs Demoustier, Judith Chemla, Quentin Grosset, Géraldine Martineau, Donna Baltron.
Written and directed by James Muth. Categories: Comedy, Horror, Romance, Fantasy, Coming of Age.
ChucksConnection Rating: 3 chucks ratingMPAA Rating: NR, would be PG-13, possibly R

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