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Non-Review Review: The Call

The Call is one-half knock-off of the underseen and underrated Cellular, a delightfully pulpy high-concept thriller which perhaps felt a little bit too similar to Phone Booth. The Call is also one-half knock-off of Silence of the Lambs, with the second half of the film in particular feeling like one of those psycho killer thrillers that were oh-so-popular in the mid- to late-nineties, but which became less popular in the post-CSI era. The Call has a delightfully ropey central premise, a high-concept for the mobile age, straining all manner of credibility and suspension of disbelief.

However, the problem lies in the execution. The Call wallows in heightened melodrama, struggling to sustain its central premise by trying to make us “feel” for the central characters in the most coy and manipulative of manners. Director Brad Anderson’s intrusive style doesn’t help matters too, seemingly unsure whether he’s making an action movie, a psychological horror or a high-concept thriller, and so instead tries to mash the three genres together with limited success.

Holding the line...

Holding the line…

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Non-Review Review: Three Days of the Condor

Reflecting the political climate of the time, the seventies produced any number of high-quality conspiracy thrillers. I think what helps Three Days of the Condor stand above most of the rest is a great leading performance from Robert Redford at the height of his charisma, confident direction from Sydney Pollack and a rather clever central premise that feels interesting in its own right, rather than just a vehicle to create a palpable sense of paranoia.

Branching out...

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The Little Horror Movies That Can…

Next month is October, which means Halloween, so I’ll be taking a closer look at the horror genre (both with reviews of movies and my own unique style of commentary), but the success of the new Paranormal Activity on a budget of less than $15,000 (and I thought District 9 was cheap) has got me wondering: why is it that low-key horrors are so scary?

There's been a lot of activity around Paranormal Activity this weekend...

There's been a lot of activity around Paranormal Activity this weekend...

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