Halle Berry is no stranger to thrillers and movies that create tension. She has appeared in horror movies like Gothika and also mystery thrillers like Perfect Stranger with Bruce Willis. In The Call she plays an emergency services telephone operator called Jordan Turner answering calls from people in distress. While doing her job one day she receives a call from a young girl trying to escape from a killer. Turner tries to help but is unable to prevent the killer from taking the girl who later turns up dead. Some time later the killer strikes again and kidnaps another girl, Casey Welson (played by Abigail Breslin.) Casey calls the emergency operators from the boot of a car as the killer drives her to a secure location. Jordan Turner intercepts the call and finds out it’s the same serial killer that committed the previous crime. She then frantically attempts to help Casey escape from the car or alert others on the road to her presence. The killer is ruthless though and any strangers caught snooping around his car are quickly and mercilessly dispatched. As Turner tries to save Casey the police led by Officer Phillips (played by Morris Chestnut) try to find out more about the killer and where he lives. Other well know actors like Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos appear in the film and Michael Eklund from Watchmen plays the killer.
The trailer gives the impression that The Call is a routine thriller relying on tried and tested Hollywood tropes. The trailer also reveals a bit too much of the plot and may spoil things for some viewers. Sometimes when watching certain trailers the viewer feels as if they have already seen all the best parts of the movie. This can cause some movie fans to avoid seeing the film at the cinema. Especially jaded fans of genre movies. However a movie can still be entertaining even when you know what will happen in certain scenes. There is nothing really original or clever about the plot so the actors and director will need to be on top form to make the film worth a look. Perhaps the best idea in the film is focusing on the emergency call operators point of view and making her such a prominent character. That is why Halle Berry’s performance is so crucial to the films success. A film needs to stand out if the studio wants to put bums on seats at the local cinema. So many average horror and thriller movies are ignored at the cinema and then quickly released straight to dvd. Time will tell if The Call will suffer the same fate.
The director Brad Anderson has experience with thrillers as he directed movies like The Machinist and also the excellent horror movie Session 9. Both films were fairly original, atmospheric and also creepy.
If Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin can deliver good performances here then the film may not be a bad way to spend a couple of hours at the cinema.
Thriller movie fans can catch The Call when it is released on March 15th.
Take a look at the trailer and let us know what you think.