In this new golden age of television, movies are having a tough time especially for a film like THE CALL, it being a thriller and all. With shows like Dexter, C.S.I., and Hannibal how can movies like this compete? It's much like the western genre during the 50's and 60's. No studio wanted to make a cowboy movie when shows like Gunsmoke ruled prime time. I'm not going to get on a soap box about it but television is killing the movie industry. Maybe television and streaming content is the future? Everyday it seems that talent is moving more toward this medium. It'll be a sad day if going to the movies becomes a thing of the past.
So yeah, THE CALL is good. Really good until the end. The beginning of the film worried me at first but things just kept getting better and better. A few things annoyed me about the script with dialogue like this, “he's coming back up the stairs. He heard the phone when you called back”! You know, things characters don't need to say because we can clearly see them happening on screen. This stuff happens a few times but once the adrenaline kicks in it's barely noticeable.
Jordan (Halle Berry) a veteran 911 operator who takes a life altering call from a young woman who has been abducted, she realized that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girls life.
What makes THE CALL interesting is the taut directing of Brad Anderson(The Machinist). Great hand held camera work. There are a good chunk of scenes inside a trunk with abducted Casey Welson (Abigail Breslin) and the viewer gets an excellent sense of claustrophobia. Anderson knows where to put the camera and how to come up with interesting camera angles. The editing had a nice flow that keeps the tension going. I plan to check out more from director Brad Anderson.
The abductor/killer was one of the creepiest characters I've seen in awhile. The performance was almost like a character study of a psychopath whose plan starts to crumble before his very eyes.
At about the half way point I was really loving this movie. It was exceeding my expectations. Then the ending came along and kinda ruined the movie for me. The film takes this extreme left turn that took me out of the movie.
So for the whole movie we have an entertaining thriller with the police trying to find the car that Casey is kidnapped in. The trail goes cold but the police and Jordan are so very close on finding her. Time is running out. Jordan gets a hunch and goes to look for where the killer and Casey might be. She goes by herself? Cut to (no pun intended) the killers lair and THE CALL suddenly turns into a Saw film? Okay fine, it's a thriller. So Jordan finds the lair and saves Casey. Where are the cops? Jordan is a 911 operator and not only that shes dating a police officer. A officer who was in hot pursuit of finding Casey mind you. So I ask again, why isn't Jordan calling the cops? Oh, because THE CALL turns into a revenge movie all of a sudden when the two women decide to tie the killer up and leave him for dead. Which is a stupid idea because I'm sure the police detectives are going to find his lair anyway, especially when you tell them he took off running in the very same area his lair is located?
Good movie with a terribly dumb ending!