Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Film: 'THE CALL'

The first hour of this 94 minute film is terrific - as tautly suspenseful as a thriller ought to be. After the first few minutes the tension starts and hardly lets up. Pity, then, that the final section veers off into grisly Grand Guignol territory, though still with enough 'oomph' for me as not entirely to capsize the whole venture.

Halle Berry (in a 'good' film for a change), plays one of the operators in an emergency call centre. She is knocked mentally sideways by having to live with her failure, (though not her fault), to be able to save a teenage girl from being the victim of a murderous burglar. Despite trying to live with this burden she decides to get back to work only to get a call from another girl of similar age locked inside the boot of a driven car, in the process of being abducted. The chase is then on to identify the kidnapper and/or the car, and to frustrate his unknown intentions, whatever they are. The action is well executed, directed and acted. Edge-of-the-seat stuff.

The final play-out reveals the motivations of the perpetrator for the abduction in a scenario that would have given Norman Bates himself a decent run for his money. And I didn't see the ultimate pay-off coming.

Overall, a superior film. If it had maintained the momentum it achieves for more than the first half I might have been tempted to mark it a notch higher even than the score I've settled on...........7.5.


  1. Surprised that you just saw this in a theater. The DVD release has been out several weeks now. I saw this at home last week and because I watched it at home, I probably enjoyed it more. This was an OMG - bite-your-nails thriller.. Could have been better if it weren't for some of the stupid decisions made. I sat there, at times, wondering why she would do this.

    Yes, Ms. Berry has made some bad choices in film, but she did do "Cloud Atlas."

  2. Another in a string of films of which I have never heard. And, unfortunately, we have entered the time of year when I rarely if ever get to the movies. I shall start of list of things to look for "On Demand" on t.v.

  3. Paul - It only opened here about 2 weeks ago. Another case of staggered release around the world, it seems.
    Rather like you I found it as gripping as one could wish for - at least for over half its length. Must say I didn't ask myself too much whether it made sense. I was too involved or that!
    Yes, I'd forgotten about Ms Berry being in 'Cloud Atlas'. So she CAN make wise choices.

    J.G. - over 7s DO happen once in a blue moon. I've also been known to award an '8' in even rare circumstances. I don't think I'll live long enough to go any higher than that.
    As you can see I recommend this one - though must admit I tried hard NOT to smile when it went rather OTT near the end. But it's all a good thrill.

    H.K. I'm not sure how this film went down in America. If It had done really well then you probably would have been aware of it. Paul, above, says it's already out on DVD there so if you want a cosy night in, watching TV with Harper and HOD, then look no further for a bit of quality entertainment.

  4. I am ashamed to admit my taste in films is becoming more mawkish each year; I want no violence, no 'people problems' but comedy and fantasy and escapism.

  5. I can well appreciate that, Dr Spo. For many years I myself have been avoiding 'animal' films - even a film which has an incidental depiction of an animal suffering or in distress means I don't want to see it. Similarly, films which feature a kid wise beyond his/her years, giving a lesson to adults how to live their lives, just makes me want to reach for the bucket.
    We all have our own limits and it would be arrogant to decry that of others.