Do Not Reply was written and directed by the father and son team of Walter and Daniel Woltosz. They made the film as a cautionary tale about the alarming number of social media abductions being reported lately. Does that vital message and noble goal come across in the movie at all?
Chelsea (Amanda Arcuri) is a shy but smart high school student. Her best friend Mia (Ivon Millan) is busy with her new boyfriend, Dylan (Curran Walters), and at home, it is Chelsea’s sister who is (seemingly) getting all the attention. Thus, when she starts getting attention online from 17-year old Brad (Jackson Rathbone), she becomes flattered and enamored quickly.
“Chelsea longs to escape and figures the best way to do that is to try and understand why she, and the others, was taken in the first place.”
When the two meet face to face at a Halloween party, things seem to be going well. That is, until Brad drugs Chelsea and she wakes up in the basement of an unknown house. Brad comes down with a plate of food and informs the girl that her name is Sadie. Chelsea corrects him and gets slapped. She is again told that her name is Sadie.
Once that is established, she is given a tour of her new home. There are two other girls other, also named “Sadie,” and that the chores will be divided between them all. Brad also forces each one of them to dye their hair blonde and only wear cheerleader uniforms. Chelsea longs to escape and figures the best way to do that is to try and understand why she, and the others, was taken in the first place.
Do Not Reply carefully crafts a believable world, with one odd, pointless digression. Chelsea and Mia go over to Dylan’s house for the night, as his parents are gone. The couple retires to his room, leaving Chelsea on the couch with Dylan’s pal Seth. Seth makes unwanted advances toward Chelsea, so she bails.