Rating: R (For violence, disturbing content, and some language)
Length: 94 minutes
Release Date: March 15, 2013
Directed by: Brad Anderson
Genre: ThrillerIn “The Call” movie, an experienced 911 operator receives a call from a terrified teenager who has just been abducted. Matters get out of hand when the operator realizes that the abductor is a killer from her past, and she has to confront him to save the girl. The film was directed by Brad Anderson.”The Call” starts with Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) receiving a call from Leah Templeton (Evie Thompson). Templeton has been abducted by Michael Foster (Michael Eklund), a serial killer. Turner’s success in guiding Templeton to safety is thwarted when the call disconnects and the girl dials back the number, thereby alerting the killer. Several days later, Templeton is found murdered.This event proves so traumatic to Turner that she is unable to continue with her job. Six months after the incident, Turner is now training 911 operators when Foster abducts another teenager, Casey Welson (Abigail Breslin). Turner is forced to step in when the operator who receives the call this time is unable to handle it. Together with Turner and a helpful passerby, the police are able to determine Foster’s identity.From here on, Turner and her police boyfriend Paul Philips (Morris Chestnut) take matters into their own hands and begin an investigation of their own. What they unearth about the origins of Foster’s violence is very startling. Philips realizes that Foster had incestuous feelings for his sister, who died as a child, and that he has been looking for some sort of replacement in his abductees. Matters become even more complicated when Turner decides to go into the abductor’s lair without informing the police.Some people have said that “The Call” is filled with unbelievable jaw-dropping scenes near the end, but whether or not that is true does not undermine the film’s overall ingenuity. For a great part of the movie, viewers are entertained with tense and scary moments. The direction of this movie must have been pretty easy for Anderson, who is well experienced in working with high-end productions. Examples of the caliber of his work can be seen in television dramas such as “Treme,” “The Wire,” and “Boardwalk Empire.” The director, in conjunction with other people involved in making the movie, is able to craft a suspenseful movie very much worth watching.The main character, Berry, is quite compelling in this movie. In fact, Berry is a veteran actress who can always be relied upon to deliver her roles convincingly. Her character is quite able to deal with different emergencies, some of which do not exactly qualify to be labeled emergencies. Whether it is a bird that has entered a residential apartment or the abduction of a teenage girl, Turner is able to deal with all aspects of her job quite well.Berry, however, is not the only one who delivers a heart-wrenching performance in “The Call.” Each of the actors is quite up to the task. For example, Abigail Breslin, who plays the kidnapped teenager Casey Welson, is also brilliant in her role, and so is Eklund in his. Even the supporting actors are able to hold their own, which says a lot about the great job done by the movie’s casting team.What makes this movie particularly interesting is its premise and how it begins. The thing is, 911 calls are some of the most common things in America, and few people would imagine an interesting story coming out of such a call. The fact that the writers built an engaging story out of this just shows how talented they are. The movie is gripping and filled with excitement from the beginning to the end. The screenwriter, Richard D’Ovidio, manages to craft a clever and sharp script with a technological awareness that few writers are able to do.In “The Call,” the usual horror concepts are combined with suspense and crime concepts in a clever move. The action is terrific, and viewers get to understand what is happening as the movie moves, without having to be expressly shown everything. The film also makes use of interesting references and clever sourcing that make it very fun to watch.Some people have complained that the women’s best scenes are only shown in very cramped quarters. For example, in the middle third of the film, Turner has to remain calm throughout the frenzied activities of her fellow 911 operators, and the kidnapped girl has her own personal struggles in the trunk of her abductor’s car. That these scenes can be classified as the women’s best, however, just goes to show that the producers had faith in their acting capabilities. In the end, it suffices to say that “The Call” is a pleasure to watch-even if it is a guilty pleasure.