Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Call (2013)

IMDb plot summary: When a veteran 911 operator takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl's life.
Directed by Brad Anderson. Starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin.

(Lots of spoilers ahead.)

This is the fourth movie in a row where I started off enjoying a movie and ended up disappointed. 2/3 of the way through, I was all set to LOVE this movie. I loved the pacing and the set-up and I loved Halle Berry's character and I loved watching all the steps they took to find her. It was gripping and thrilling and tense. Then... oh, man. Then everything went awful.

Halle Berry sets off on her own to find the killer, magically does so, it turns out he's a psycho serial killer who, of course, does weird creepy stuff with his victims because of his incestuous relationship with his dead sister. Every serial killer cliche in the book is pulled out, every terrible thriller exploitation trick is thrown at us, and the ending is completely and thoroughly unsatisfying.

What could have been a smart and intelligent thriller *completely* wasted its final act. Kudos to Michael Eklund for his portrayal of the bad guy, and kudos to the opening 2/3 for not feeling like we had to have all the answers (and they didn't have to be sensational) to create a tense story. If that philosophy and that brilliant natural tension had continued through to the end, I could easily have given this 4 1/2 stars. As it is, it gets a disappointed 3.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Call > Destry Rides Again
The Call < Seven Up!
The Call > The Devil's Backbone
The Call > The Red Shoes
The Call < The Tree of Life
The Call < Lo
The Call < Pushing Tin
The Call < Once Upon a Mattress
The Call < The Kite Runner
The Call > The Majestic
The Call < Hot Fuzz
Final spot: #607 out of 1950, below Hot Fuzz and above The Majestic.

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