Writer: Scott Abramovitch (Screenplay) Inger Ash Wolfe (Novel)
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Gil Bellows, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace, Donald Sutherland, Christopher Heyerdahl, Kevin Parent
Plot: Detective Hazel Micallef hasn’t had much to worry about in the sleepy town of Fort Dundas until a string of gruesome murders in the surrounding countryside brings her face to face with a serial killer driven by a higher calling.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Slow Thriller
Story: The Calling starts as we meet Detective Hazel Micallef (Sarandon) of a small town of Fort Dundas who is used to dealing with small crimes if any. Her quiet life takes a turn when a local resident is brutally murdered in their own home leading to Hazel and her partner Ray Green (Bellows) trying to solve the case.
Getting a new deputy Ben Wingate (Grace) joining the force a second body turns up and Hazel knows she is dealing with a serial killer. Learning the killer might be leaving them a message Hazel turns to Father Price (Sutherland) for answers in the meaning of the communication where she learns that she is tracking a serial killer with ancient religious beliefs.
The Calling brings us a new serial killer based film which I did like his motives because he only killed people willing to die to help a cause. The side of this I didn’t like was we never saw the full outcome of what he wanted to believe would happen. I do feel we have too bigger names in small almost pointless roles in the film because we do have Oscar worthy actors in supporting roles. We do get the basic police discussion which if they worked together instead of the derestriction we would caught the killer quicker. In the end this falls slightly short of what we could have had but I am glad we didn’t get the full blown gore fest it could have easily been.
Susan Sarandon: Hazel Micallef is the small town detective with a dark personal past which includes a suicide attempt, she finds herself in the middle of an investigation into a new religious serial killer. Hazel finds herself wondering what I right while tracking this killer with a new younger deputy. Susan is good in this role without reaching all potential.
Gil Bellows: Detective Ray Green is the partner at the small town, he wants to follow the book a lot more than Hazel even though he folds to her decisions being made by her. He is a good supporting officers throughout dealing with the smaller parts Hazel isn’t the right person to handle. Gil gives us a basic supporting role.
Christopher Heyerdahl: Simon is the mysterious man going around committing this murders, he is following a plan by God to help a bigger plan to save people from illness. He is giving people a way out of their suffering. Christopher gives us a genuine creepy killer throughout who never once looks threatened by the thought of being captured.
Topher Grace: Ben Wingate is set to the small town as a new deputy from a big city, he does a lot of the leg work in the investigation almost being the pawn of what Hazel and Ray think it the right choice. Topher is good in this role but is struggling to make the impact needed.
Donald Sutherland: Father Price is the man that Hazel turns to, to learn about the message being left by the killer, he is an expert in ancient religious beliefs but is nothing more than a supporting information filler character. Donald serves his purpose in this film which sadly isn’t enough for an actor of his level.
Support Cast: The Calling has a supporting cast which all have small scenes which help with the final outcome.
Director Review: Jason Stone – Jason brings us a good idea of the for the story but I do feel the ending comes off slightly short.
Mystery: The Calling does keep us wondering what the motives of the killer are.
Thriller: The Calling keeps us on edge with wondering who the next victim will be.
Settings: The Calling starts in the small town which works for the shock until it ends up meaning nothing to the final half of the film.
Special Effects: The Calling has very good effects to show the kills.
Suggestion: The Calling is a good story but doesn’t give us enough overall. (Try It)
Best Part: The killer works coming of fresh.
Worst Part: Fizzles out.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes
Tagline: Pray for the Prey
Overall: Solid thriller that really has a lot more potential than we finally get.