Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
“911, what’s your emergency?”
“..OH MY GOD, I’M HAVING A HEART ATTACK – Halle Berry is in a movie where she actually passes for likeable!”
Yes – our little Haliborange delivers.
A blonde teenage girl raises her phone to her ear. Shaking, she dials 911 and screams for help. As she runs up the stairs of her house, a silhouetted figure smashes through the kitchen window in pursuit. Tears streaming down her face, the girl quickly forms a plan; she opens her bedroom window, throws her shoes to the ground below – and hides under her bed.. just as the man enters the room. Thinking she jumped, he darts back downstairs. “stay on the li-“, the 911 operator is cut short as the girl’s phone cuts out. So what’s an operator to do?… phone back. The house phone rings out – BIG mistake – and the shaking teen answers it. The attacker hears. “I think he heard the-” *PIERCING SCREAM* – the girl is dragged out from under her bed, kicking and screaming..
The line goes dead.
Six months later, Jordan (Halle Berry) is training a bunch of new recruits to be 911 operators. She brings them into the ‘hive’ – the central command station for 911 staff – just as one of the recruits asks “why aren’t you on the front line with the rest of the operators?” – Jordan pauses, and swallows heavily before replying: “..because I’m the teacher, I’m training the new people”.
Seconds pass before an urgent call comes in from a young female who has been abducted and thrown into the boot of a car. However, the operator who took the call is new and unsure how to proceed. Time for Jordan to show the recruits what she’s made of, as she jumps into the operator’s seat and (shaking) continues the call. But with whats about to unfold, she’s going to regret taking this call…
What a great little nail-biter. Honestly, The Call extracted a few clenched-fist reactions from myself – and at one point, a girl in the row behind me was stamping in panic on the floor. (bless) Now I won’t lie, it wasn’t the best gripper I’ve ever seen, but it certainly kept me glued to the screen. Think of those other cult-style movies such as House Of Wax; its token bad guy is bloody vicious, and you long for the moment when the hero will bludgeon the bastard. This movie was similar and delivered that feeling of unease, whilst being playful at the same time.
Cat & Mouse:
Its down to Jordan to talk the abducted female (Abigail Breslin) through her ordeal, but when phone connection is lost, she takes the law into her own hands and goes the extra mile – literally – she jumps in her car and chases the bad guy down. Hats off to Abigail Breslin; I don’t think I’ve yet seen her in a movie where she’s bloodied up and beaten. But her torment was played out brilliantly, from her panicked gasps and screams in the boot of the bad guy’s car, to her hysterical happenings underground..
This movie is very simple, very straightforward – which made it even more enjoyable. We didn’t have any complicated sub-stories or irrelevant characters trailing off.. it just happened ‘BANG, BANG, BANG’ kind of thing. Again, The Call isn’t the most amazing movie I’ve sat through, but it is simple and effective, the main pleasure being the ‘edge-of-your-seat’ element and “ohmygod, ohmygod” tensity.
Toward the end we find out the shockingly gruesome reason as to why the bad guy is doing what he’s doing. And then, the showdown between him (Michael Eklund), Halle and Abigail was ‘bloody’ brilliant, and contained a great little twist.
Given the price of the average cinema ticket these days, I’d say save your money – but definitely grab a rental of it.
..just make sure you’ve cut your nails.