The Call: Tense Thriller Falls at the Last Hurdle
Abigail BreslinDavid Otunga...
The latest film from American director, Brad Anderson – the same man behind 2004 psychological thriller, The Machinist, and 2001 indie-horror, Session 9 – takes a rare look inside the workings of 911 response services.
The Call begins with 911 operator, Jordan Turner (Berry), handling calls at ‘The Hive’ – L.A’s emergency response centre. Six months after failing to help a young girl escape an intruder that broke into her home, Jordan throws in her headset and turns to training rookies.
Even now, Jordon still has a hard time dealing with the incident and despite the moral support of her co-workers and cop boyfriend, Paul (Chestnut), the veteran operator’s past still haunts her. Soon, she is forced to face her nightmares, when she receives a call from Casey Welson (Breslin); a teenage girl who has found herself trapped in the trunk of a car, kidnapped by a madman at a mall parking lot. With time running out, Jordan needs to keep Casey calm and safe until help can reach her.
With the penning support of Richard D’Ovidio, director Brad Anderson creates a gripping and psychologically-unnerving ride that will keep viewers’ adrenaline pumping. Knowing that there is no time to waste, The Call doesn’t give you time to get to know the characters and dives into the action straight away, which ultimately results in countless white-knuckle thrills, a good dose of shocking brutality and edge-of-your-seat drama.
Despite this, The Call suffers from several plot holes; the build-up is intense and rock-solid, but as the plot winds down towards a climax, things become a little too familiar and cheesy.
After several questionable turns since her historic Oscar win, Berry delivers a very watchable performance; cool and collected, the role is a perfect fit for the forty-six year old. Breslin – now all grown up – shows that she has matured as an actress and even with one too many moments of over-the-top hysteria, her role is very much the driving force behind the drama. However, all of the brownie points go to the Canadian-born actor Eklund, whose portrayal of the psychotic abductor is unsettling in the most merciless of ways; just as it should be.
Although it requires you to suspend your disbelief quite severely at times, The Call still manages to thrill, entertain and make you look over your shoulder when in an empty parking lot.