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Written By:

Martin Unsworth

Tobin Bell and Lin Shaye – a pair of horror veterans – shine in this intriguing tale of retribution.

Chris (Chester Rushing) is the new kid in town who falls in with a group of kids led by Tanya (Erin Sanders) and her on-off boyfriend Zack (Mike Manning). Chris tags along with the group while they commit a bit of harassment on the house of Edith and Edward (Shaye and Bell, respectively). Edith had been the owner of the day-care where Tanya’s younger sister disappeared. Everyone assumed Edith had something to do with it, but there was no evidence. Regardless, Tanya sees it her duty to torment the woman as often as she can. Unfortunately, after this altercation, Edith has had too much and takes her own life. Several weeks later, the grieving Edward invites the gang to the house and tells them that Edith has left each of them a large sum of money; all they have to do is call a number on his office phone and stay on the line for a minute. Thinking it’s a cinch, they agree but on the end of the line is Edith and she has scores to settle.

The Call is set in 1987, and in almost every way (save for the CGI effects), could have been made in that era too. It has the flavour of films of the time and is bolstered by the horror veterans’ appearances. Tobin Bell, in particular, is suitably chilling as the widower of the accused childminder. Fans will get a thrill from hearing him tell the kids that he ‘wants to play a game’, but once the group start their separate journeys to the office and making the call, he has little else to do. The eighties setting allows the conceit to work – no smartphones or Googling going on here – and there’s an interesting denouement when the final youth picks up the receiver on the phone.

Director Timothy Woodward Jr delivers perfectly timed jump scares along the way, and it’s an undemanding, fun watch that doesn’t outstay its welcome.

Release Date: January 11th

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