Posted by Alia Haddad on April 15, 2013 at 11:00 am
There are few things in life that I find more compelling than a good serial killer movie. Taking my fascination with the beings to a whole new (semi-real) level, the serial killer flick often allows all us viewers to gain a deeper understanding of the serial killer in question (what are his motives; why is he doing this, etc.), see how he goes about killing his victims, and, in most cases save for Zodiac, find out how he is ultimately caught.
So when Brad Anderson, the man behind The Machinist and, also, really good tag lines–The Machinist’s being, “How do you wake up from a nightmare if you’re not asleep?”–promised a film about a serial killer of young blonde girls who is ultimately chased by a 911 dispatcher, I knew I was on board. With a tag line like, “There are 188 million 911 calls a year. This one made it personal,” The Call, which stars (questionably good) actress Halle Berry as the dispatcher in question and a very blonde Abigail Breslin as the next potential victim, there was going to be no waiting for this movie to hit DVD. I was destined to see it on the big screen, the way it was intended.
And, oh boy, was I glad I did. The movie was expectantly bad (come on, with a tag line like that were you expecting anything else?), but it was bad in a good, good way. Like an Ashley Judd movie from the late 90s, The Call contained all the right elements to make it at once both enjoyable and almost forgettable. Don’t get me wrong, my memory isn’t that bad–and neither is the film–that I won’t remember the film a year from now when it comes up in casual conversation, but I doubt I will think more about this movie than I already have. It was fun to watch, and even took an unexpected turn at the end that left me wanting more (that rarely happens to me these days with movie times clocking in at over two or three hours), but was the acting good? Well, it wasn’t terrible. What about the dialogue? Well, that was closer to terrible. And the list continues as such.
If you’re looking for a light-hearted serial killer flick (more Double Jeopardy and less The Silence of the Lambs), then The Call is for you. But if you’re going in with snooty film critics’ eyes, than you can definitely miss it. What about me? Well, I had a great time.