by Ken Korman
There’s nothing complicated about The Call. For the better part of an hour, it’s abducted teenage girl in the trunk of a moving car, 911 call center operator (Halle Berry) on the line via untraceable cell phone, LAPD doing their best to locate the vehicle and identify serial killer behind the wheel. It’s neither artfully done nor remotely plausible, but it does engage you on a purely visceral level. Then The Call goes completely nuts, blending too-familiar elements from The Silence of the Lambs, Psycho and Death Wish in a noxious and nonsensical final act. What were director Brad Anderson (The Machinist) and screenwriter Richard D'Ovidio thinking? Hard to say, but at least their flailing hodgepodge of a movie isn’t boring or predictable. In fact, the rowdy locals at an advance promotional screening of The Call spent much of their time yelling advice and commentary at the screen. You can't blame an audience for trying.