Sunday 29 September 2013

Review: The Call

World of Blackout Film Review

The Call Poster

The Call
Cert: 15 / 94 mins / Dir. Brad Anderson

Berry, Eklund and Breslin all put in very respectable performances as a 911 operator, kidnapper and kidnappee, considering the pantomime The Call turns into by the final act. As with many high-stakes thrillers, there are regular spikes of "oh, that wouldn't happen!" throughout, but when call centre worker Jordan pulls a Scooby-Doo and decides to infiltrate the known-murderer's underground lair - unarmed and alone - you know you've veered into Made-for-TV territory (and/or Straight-to-Video territory as the film skirts around turning into a Hostel ripoff for the finale).

Notwithstanding this escalation, I think the thing which caused me the most disconnect was Jordan telling a bunch of new-recruit 911 operators that they have to stay emotionally detatched, despite being completely unable to do so herself, both before and after that speech. I'm not doubting that the job is emotionally distressing; I'm doubting that the room would be as generally calm as it appears in the film. I imagine a job consisting of spending 8+ hours a day speaking to people who are scared / bleeding / on-fire would have a fairly high turnover rate, and I doubt that someone as clearly sensitive as Berry's Jordan would have lasted a week, never mind got to the point where she's training inductees.

But it is enjoyable, and the first 70 minutes are incredibly tight.

The parts of The Call which operate as a tense crime thriller work very well, even if the film doesn't break any new ground. The part that's Mystery Inc vs Hannibal… not so much.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Pretty much.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
For the first 70 minutes, yes.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
For the first 70 minutes, yes.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
With the best will in the world, this is a DVD..

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
Not that I heard.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
1) Thinking of building an subterranean torture-lair, but don't want to use a house basement (too obvious). How do I run gas, water and electricity to it without the authorities finding out?
2) How did the killer get that wardrobe into his subterranean torture-lair? The hatch was nowhere near big enough for it to fit through and it doesn't look like an Ikea-job.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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