The Call

The Call is a 2013 abduction thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Richard D’Ovidio. The movie stars Hall Berry, Abigail Breslin, Michael Eklund & Morris Chesnutt with supporting roles by Roma Maffia, Justina Machado & David Otunga.

Jordan is a 911 operator working in the Los Angeles Police Department’s emergency call center. She receives a call one night from teenager Leah Templeton, who cries into the phone that someone is breaking into her house. Jordan guides the girls to hide under her bed while dispatching cops to the house but when the call gets disconnected she calls the girl back – the phone ringing alters the intruder to the location of the girl. He grabs her, finds the phone and when Jordan tells him to stop what he’s doing and not hurt the girl, he replies that “it’s already done” and cuts the call. A few days later a distraught Jordan sees on a news report that Leah’s body has been found and an emotionally affected Jordan tells her boyfriend cop Officer Paul Phillips that she cannot field calls anymore.

6  months later we find Jordon training new recruits at the 911 call center. At a mall parking lot, after spending some time with her friend, teenager Casey is abducted and put into the trunk of a car. When she comes to she calls 911 on a cell phone (which her friend left behind) and a rookie operator attends the call. Unable to handle it, she hands it over to a reluctant Jordan. As Casey is using a burner cell the exact location via GPS, so Jordan guides Casey to knock out a tail light and wave out to people on the road. A woman sees Casey’s hand sticking out from the rear of the car and alerts the cops, thereby narrowing the location. Finding cans of paint Casey dumps them through the broken tail light, causing another driver in a car to alert the abductor. Panicking the abductor stops the car and threatens Casey but the other man who decides to investigate sees this. Before he can call the cops, the abductor beats him up and kills him in the car later, putting the dead body in the other man’s car trunk along with Casey, stealing his car. Later at a gas station, Casey alerts the attendant but he too is killed by abductor. However, he inadvertently leaves fingerprints at the scene of the car switch, and the police are finally able to determine his identity as Michael Foster. As he reaches his destination, Michael finds the phone and once again Jordon speaks to him. She tells him to give himself up, that they found his identity through his prints and to not hurt the girl. He tells Jordan “that it is done” -which makes her realize that he is the one who killed Leah.

Meanwhile, Paul and some other cops raid Michael’s home and finds his wife & small kids. They find clues in Michael’s home office – a photo of Michael and his sister, Melinda, they realize that Casey resembles the latter. From Michael’s wife they learn that the house in the photo, his old family home, was burned down but that a nearby cottage still exists. The cops raid it but do not find anyone and hence leave.  Determined to catch the killer, Jordan drives to the secondary home where she finds a number of photos of Michael with his leukemia-stricken sister. While she is about to leave, she hears a metallic sound (a locket hitting a flagpole) which she recognizes from when she spoke with Michael. Searching in the grounds, she uncovers a carefully hidden trap door in the dirt, right where the old house stood, that leads to a large underground cellar with many rooms. She goes down without calling the cops and sees Michael’ hideout. It seems as a child he had incestuous feelings for his sister and when she died, losing all her hair, it traumatized him. Michael has a prop head that he keeps in the cellar that he treats like his sister. He has also been scalping and killing young girls who have similar blond hair, trying to find scalps that match his sister’s hair. Jordan finds Michael about to scalp Casey and attack him. She frees Casey and the run to climb out through the exit. Michael pursues them, and they are able to injure and kick him back down into the cellar, rendering him unconscious. When Michael comes to he finds himself strapped to a chair and both Casey & Jordon inform him that they plan to leave him to die and claim that Casey had escaped, Jordan found her in the woods, and Michael simply disappeared. He tells them they cannot just leave him there. As they walk out, Jordan recites his words, “It’s already done”, then closes and locks the door behind her.

Good, riveting movie but yeah, pure Hollywood, although I did enjoy it quite a bit. 8 outta 10!

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