For a teenage girl home alone at night during a break-in, probably the most common-sense thing to do is to call 911. If she’s lucky, her call will be taken by an operator who is a seasoned pro.
That unflappable professional is Halle Berry in the new thriller, “The Call,” now in theaters. In fact, at the start of the film, Jordan’s (Berry) life is not too shabby. She’s good at what she does, and her cop boyfriend (Morris Chestnut) is very cute.
However, things go topsy-turvy when a caller is murdered with Jordan on the line. She even hears the killer’s voice. PTSD and heavy guilt cause Jordan to quit answering calls in favor of training new hires.
But, as fate would have it, she ends up taking over an alarming 911 call six months later, which comes in from a teenage girl trapped inside the trunk of her kidnapper’s car. Could her captor be the same killer from before?
I love suspenseful thrillers, and “The Call” definitely is that. Life and death hang in the balance during an action-packed ride.
For most of the film, Casey (Abigail Breslin) is our victim and only has Jordan’s voice to guide her against a brutal attacker. I didn’t expect Breslin to be able to handle the role; I still think of her as a kid. But she did a terrific job, as did our killer (Michael Eklund) and our heroic 911 operator.
The twist in “The Call” comes when Jordan gets involved, matching wits with the bad guy not just on the phone, but in person.
I will warn you, there is only one central villain in “The Call,” so filmmakers seemed bent on making him the most twisted, complex, violent killer possible. If that sort of thing makes you squirm, you may need to skip “The Call.”
But … I’m a fan!
I also recommend 2004’s “Cellular,” but don’t look for it to be as gritty as “The Call.” Last year’s “Premium Rush” also was action-fueled, and if you don’t mind some sci-fi mind bending, check out 2011’s “The Caller.”