2013 / Director. Brad Anderson.
I been worried that Brad Anderson had become the new M Night Shyamalan because he made two truly brilliant films and has followed them up with a steady amount of mediocre ones... Anderson's previous movie The Vanishing On 7th Street was a real fizzer and left me to weigh up the possibility that Anderson wasn't the master filmmaker I had thought him to be. It seemed that he just got lucky earlier in his career... and then comes THE CALL. Where his previous films (even the duds) had a distinct Anderson characteristic about them, this one doesn't. It's very much a typical serial killer thriller. But hey, at least it's a good one. I enjoyed it a lot. First let me address some of it's shortcomings. I hate being distracted when watching movies and Halle Berry's hair is the biggest fucking distraction I've ever had to ignore. She looks like Mom from Futurama... and so theres that! There are also a few typical and predictable genre foibles including some less than subtle Maniac knock-off themes and a patronising "chicks rule" finale. But hey, I can overlook these things because THE CALL works on a basic level. To describe it is to cross The Vanishing with Untraceable and then throw in a little bit of The Cell. Halle Berry works as a 911 operator who is traumatised by a murder she heard and possibly hindered. 6 months later she takes another call which conjures up memories of the other. The phone call between a girl trapped in the boot (trunk) of a killer's car and Halle Berry's character make up the bulk of the movie as the police race against time to find the kidnapper. Anderson handles the tension nicely and effectively keeps the pace going. At times it's gripping and so long as I can enjoy a few edge of the seat moments then I'm happy. This movie provides a few. If it were my movie I would have steered the final act into a different direction but as it is, I can deal with it. I get the feeling that Brad Anderson is settling into an all too comfortable director's chair and he's content to keep his bank account cashed up. I would love to see him stretch himself with his next couple of projects but I really can't see it happening.