Friday, January 24, 2014

The Call – "You're an operator. You can't do this!"

Runtime: 94 minutes
Release Date: March 15, 2013
Rating: R
Director: Brad Anderson

Jordan Turner (Halle Berry, Gothika) is working as a 911 operator when she receives a call from a young girl. Fearing that someone is in the house, Jordan tells her how to hide and wait for police to arrive. When the call disconnects, Jordan calls back. The ringing phone alerts the killer, who grabs her and drags her out of the house. When Jordan later hears that they found the girl's body, she decides to stop working as an operator.

Several months later, Jordan now works as a trainer to help new workers handle calls. Though she has no plans to step back onto the phone lines, that all changes when a new call comes into the office. Casey is a teenage girl who was kidnapped by the same man who killed the previous girl. The man grabbed her out of a parking lot and tossed her in his trunk. It's up to Jordan to help Casey survive and bring justice for the man's other victims.

The Call is another of those films that I had high hopes for. I've read and heard stories from people working as 911 operators, and I don't think I could ever handle working that job. When I saw the trailer and realized that it was a horror-like film about someone who works in a 911 call center, I thought it would be interesting. While it did have some good moments, it wasn't nearly as good as I hoped.

The first half of the film is great. Jordan comes back to work but she makes it clear that she can't handle her old job. She can train other people and even briefly talk about her experiences, but the idea of sitting down and taking a call fills her with dread. Of course, that all changes when the new call comes into an operator. It seems pretty unrealistic that she would jump up and take back the job after constantly bringing up that she can't handle it.

Then we have to deal with her actually walking away from the job. I'm sure these people go to great lengths every day, but how many of those people do you think would literally get up and go on a frenzied mention to find someone. No one in the movie ever mentions that Jordan would pretty much come back to find her boyfriend/supervisor hating her and her without a job. And let's not get started on the ending. It's so incredibly unrealistic that I haven't heard a single person say that they liked it. I liked The Call when I initially saw it (or at least thought it was an okay film), but after thinking about it, I don't think I'll ever see it again.

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