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Making Contact
Making Contact
Actors: Joshua Morrell, Eva Kryll, Tammy Shields, Jan Zierold, Barbara Klein
Director: Roland Emmerich
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
PG     2002     1hr 19min


     
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Movie Details

Actors: Joshua Morrell, Eva Kryll, Tammy Shields, Jan Zierold, Barbara Klein
Director: Roland Emmerich
Creators: Roland Emmerich, Alena Rimbach, Hans Emmerich, Carl Colpaert, Hans J. Haller, James Melkonian, Thomas Lechner
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/19/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/1985
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1985
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 19min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, German

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Movie Reviews

Joey and the Imaginary World (Includes Plot Points)
07/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"MAKING CONTACT, perhaps more properly called JOEY in Germany, tells a magical fable about a boy named Joey Collins. As the story begins, Joey is a lonely nine-year-old whose beloved father has just died. One night, while mourning the loss of his father, Joey is surprised when his many toys and games begin to move around his room. This is how Joey's adventure begins. The devastating death of his father has also somehow awakened in Joey a strange power that allows him to communicate with and sometimes even control the forces and energies of an unseen world. Suddenly, incredible events begin to unfold that defy conventional explanation. A simple toy robot seems to come to life, and only Joey can understand the machine's chirps and whistles. It tells him that its name is Charlie. As an old toy telephone begins to ring in Joey's room, phones all across his beach community ring as well. In answering that call, Joey hears a voice that claims to be his deceased father contacting him from beyond the grave. Joey's world becomes one of magic and wonder, and he is so overwhelmed by it all that he is eager and willing to believe the voice is who he thinks it is without much thought on the matter.But Joey's surprise and joy over his newfound abilities eventually give way to fear, doubt and even outright terror.His loving mother first thinks his abilities, especially his telekinesis (the power to move objects without touching them), are only possible as the results of some schoolyard tricks. Most of the other children at school refuse to believe in his abilties, either, or that he is the intended recipient of the strange phone calls that have plagued the community. His teacher thinks he's suffering deep psychological traumas and needs professional help. He is only trying to help the troubled Joey, but how can he believe that Joey is talking to his dead father on the telephone?Only one girl in Joey's class at school even tries to be his friend after seeing the troubles he has, but Joey is shy after losing his father. Still, he seems pleased when she reacts in a positive way about his use of his telekinetic abilities.Joey's mistreatment at the hands of the neighbor kids is a reaction of fear. They don't understand his claims, nor do they really comprehend his powers. Their fears are understandable, but no less hurtful to Joey.Joey ends up needing all the allies he can find, though, because these are only the beginning of Joey's troubles. On a walk with Charlie, Joey decides to use his friend's diminutive size to help him explore a nearby derilect house that once belonged to an aged ventriloquist. But the house holds many sinister secrets from the past. The ventriloquist's dummy is as alive as Joey's robot. More importantly, though, the dummy seems threatening, as malevolent toward Joey as Charlie is friendly. Worse for Joey, the dummy claims to know the source of Joey's powers and the origins of the phone calls. Are the calls really coming from Joey's father, or from some unknown force from the other world trying to trick the boy? What is the true nature of Joey's mysterious gift? Before the answers are known, Joey will become the center of a conflict over his life and his destiny. Will he bring his wonderful gifts to the world, or will he come under the control of a terrible evil? Now that I've told you a little about the story, I'd like to comment on the actual movie. If you don't want any of the film's secrets ruined for you, stop reading this review! I go into specific details about some of the plot points of the film from here onward, so you've been warned! MAKING CONTACT, finally available on DVD, comes courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment. This package contains both the German and American releases of the film and you'll want to watch them both. Be sure to check out the differences in the dialogue between the two. Several scenes interpret the story in slightly different ways and can help make sense of some of the film's mysteries on another viewing.The film has been criticized by some for "stealing" ideas from other films. However, a more careful examination of the film should show that this isn't a fair thing to say without understanding some major points from the story. Joey's powers come from his ability to tap into an imaginary world. When a person comes into contact with that world, they will see images from themselves and also imaginary things that come from things the person has seen or heard, like that person's greatest heroes or darkest fears. It is only natural that a boy of nine, given this power, would use his magical gift to recreate things he has seen in movies and television. Furthermore, the elements from other sources all receive very affectionate credit. Roland Emmerich appears to want to make it clear that these elements come from other movies and shows. Would someone who was trying to "steal" from RETURN OF THE JEDI include bedsheets that show the title of the movie and characters from that movie? Would that person include pictures and toys from that movie? A more accurate statement might be that this film includes playful references that reflect things you might see in a typical child's imaginative play. The references aren't mean-spirited, sarcastic, sardonic or insincere. A child gifted with the power to make his imagination real would most likely include characters from STAR WARS, and he might want a friend like E.T. in his life, especially if he were as lonely as Joey is.Finally, a word of caution: this film deals with elements of death and loss. Children who have recently lost a relative may find it hard to handle.But for those who are willing to let their preconceived ideas about what a movie has to be, what special effects have to be, what a story has to be... welcome to Joey's unforgettable world. I hope you enjoy your visit as much as I have over the years."
Supernatural Fantasy for Kids
R. Christenson | Pine, CO USA | 09/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"On the surface Making Contact seems like a horror movie for kids, and it works well on that level, with plenty of special effects, and not too scary. It has an interesting basic idea, about a boy who makes contact with his late father by phone. He comes into telekinetic powers, and later finds a scary ventriloquist's dummy in an abanoned house who tells him the voice on the phone isn't his father, but an evil entity to be avoided. But should you really believe a scary ventriloquist's dummy? Similar ideas were used in later films like White Noise and others.

The film is underrated for specific reasons. It tries to be more of a fantasy of the genre that deals with near-death or after-death experiences (Heaven Can Wait, The Dust Factory, etc.) than just a horror film, but this makes the plot seem uneven. Some scenes seem like deliberate imitations of Spielberg and other horror films. However, some clever and stirring moments shine through, particularly the ending. Other horror movies with child protagonists include Thirteen Ghosts, The Lady In White, and Sixth Sense. In terms of special effects alone, Making Contact has more to offer that these; but the others are scarier and more enjoyable to adults.

I recommend this film more to fans of films like Dragonfly and Just Like Heavan than people who want to be seriously frightened."
"Making Contact" Is Not Your Regular Kiddy Flick
thedvdfanatic | Las Vegas, NV USA | 08/10/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

""Making Contact" deals with Joey. A nine year old kid who has just seen his father passed away. Not only that, but all the other kids at school pick on him constantly. That's when things take a turn for the worst. Joey starts to talk to his father on his toy phone and then starts to move things with his mind. He starts to act weird around his mother which gets her afraid and mystified (as he shows her his powers too). One day, while walking his dog, he goes into a mine and finds a dummy. He takes the dummy to his room and finds out a dummy which could of been nice, is pure evil. The dummy tries to kill his only friend, his mother, and anything else who tries to come in it's way. When Joey's enemy get locked in the house above the mine due to the dummy and are locked in a maze, Joey is the only one who can save them before they all die due to the dummy. As I said, "Making Contact" is not your regular kid flick, it mixes horror/sci-fi/children's genre and dosen't come out perfect (it also rips off lots of '80s blockbusters at a time too). This film might be hated by lots of people, but I liked it. It's one of my guilty pleasures. It's not really a fun movie, but it's watchable."
Really cool German horror fantasy.
John Lindsey | Socorro, New Mexico USA. | 12/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Things have been strange for Joey (Joshua Morrell) since his father's death! he's been given telepathic and telekinetic abilities that allows him to make his toys come to life and can contact with his dead father on a toy phone. He's an unpopular kid at school because he tells him his secret but they laugh at him especially the local bullies and has only one friend, one day he walks his pet toy robot (whom looks like one of the robots from "The Black Hole") that's alive into an old house in his neighborhood and discovers a ventriloquist dummy (whom looks like Col. Clink from "Hogan's Heroes") to add it to his toy collection. It later turns out the dummy is possessed by a demon with powers similar to Joey's only more stronger and threatens Joey, his mother, friends and the city with demons from another dimension for Joey is the only one to stop it.

An entertaining, dark and cool supernatural horror fantasy from Germany and director Roland Emmerich who gave us "Stargate", "The Patriot", "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tommorow". It's labeled as a kid's movie but it's kind of dark and scary for small children, i remembered when i was young back in the 80's watching this on video it scared the hell out of me especially with that dummy and the second movie to cause my fear of dummies when i was young besides "Magic". The special effects are very good for it's time considering this is a foreign movie, there's also a bittersweet ending to this movie and if you want a movie to scare your kids then this could be it, and the music score on both versions are very good as well.

This 2-Disc DVD set contains both the cut dubbed American version from "New World Pictures" and the uncut full length German language with English Subtitles version and the only extras there are is trailers but the sound and picture are quite good on both versions.

Also recommended: "Magic" (1978), "Trilogy of Terror", "Pet Sematary", "The Dark Crystal", "Willow", "The Monster Squad", "City of the Living Dead (a.k.a. Gates of Hell", "Beetlejuice", "Dead of Night (1945)", "Pin...", "Devil Doll (1964)", "Puppet Master", "Dead Silence", "Poltergeist", "The Pit", "Firestarter", " A Nightmare on Elm Street", "Scanners", "Akira", "Carrie", "Tourist Trap", "Dolls (1987)", "Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night", "The Secret of NIMH", "The Last Unicorn", "The Princess Bride", "Phenomena (a.k.a. Creepers)", "Suspiria", "Pan's Labyrinth", "Hellboy", "Excalibur", "House By The Cemetery", "Phantasm", "Harry Potter series", "Final Destination Trilogy", "Christine", ""Troll", "The Goonies", "Stephen King's IT", "Army of darkness", "Star Wars Saga", "The Wizard of Oz", "Escape from Witch Mountain", "Hellraiser 1 & 2", "Ghostbusters 1 & 2", "The Flight of Dragons", "House on Haunted Hill (1958 and 1999)", "The Haunting (1963 and 1999)", "Return to Witch Mountain", "Willy Wonka & Charlie and The Chocolate Factory", "Return to Oz", "Something Wicked This Way Comes", "Dolly Dearest", "Fire and Ice", "Sleeping Beauty (Disney)", "The Sixth Sense", "The Ring", "Ringu", "Ju-On The Grudge", "The Grudge (2004)", "The Chronicles of Narnia" (2005), "Constastine", "A Christmas Carol (Any version)", "The Nightmare Before Christmas", "The Fog (1980)", "The Black Cauldron", "Cat's Eye", "The Dead Zone (1983)", "Aladdin", "Something Wicked This Way Comes", "Inferno (Dario Argento)", "Mary Poppins", "Evil Dead 2", "Spirited Away", "My Neighbor Totoro", "Howl's Moving Castle", "City of Lost Children", "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" and "Watcher in the Woods"."