Written by Guillermo Troncoso.
Halle Berry stars as Jordan Turner, an experienced 911 operator whose life is changed when a phone-call she receives ends badly. Months later, she receives a call from a girl who has been kidnapped. The girl is calling from the boot of her kidnapper’s car and it is up to Jordan to not only save her, but to bring this man to justice.
As far as popcorn thrillers go, you can’t really go wrong with this suspenseful flick from director Brad Anderson. Anderson, director of Session 9, Transsiberian and The Machinist (his best film), racks the tension up every chance he gets and succeeds in putting you on edge. The direction is slick and the camera work provides plenty of nerve-wracking moments. The entire sequence with the girl in the boot of the car is truly nail-biting. In fact, for the most part this film is a relentless ride that barely gives you a moment to breathe.
In saying that, every time the film does slow down it allows you to see the loose gears holding it all together. The story, while being entertaining and pretty intriguing, doesn’t hold up throughout the whole film. There’s plenty of clumsy holes left in the screenplay and the characterization of the villain feels as though he was taken out of another horror flick and plonked in this one. And what’s with Turner’s boyfriend? Seriously, he doesn’t actually add up to a thing.
Halle Berry is solid as our heroine. She’s quite convincing as an operator who must overcome her past trauma to save this young girl. Speaking of the young girl, Abigail Bresilin (looking much more grown up from the little girl she was in Signs and Little Miss Sunshine) gives a strong performance as the victim of the film.
Like so many films of this sort, the ending doesn’t quite do the film justice. After a mostly entertaining and thrilling ride the last quarter sags towards a horror finale that seems tacked on.
Overall, The Call is a decent little thriller that mostly delivers on the thrills and chills. It’s just a shame when a movie fizzles out at the end.
THE REEL SCORE: 6/10