DVD REVIEW: THE CALLING / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: JASON STONE / SCREENPLAY: SCOTT ABRAMOVITCH / STARRING: SUSAN SARANDON, GIL BELLOWS, ELLEN BURSTYN, TOPHER GRACE, DONALD SUTHERLAND, CHRISTOPHER HEYERDAHL / RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 16TH
Based on a novel by Inger Ash Wolfe (pseudonym for Michael Redhill), The Calling is an odd little Canadian chiller about a small town detective (Sarandon) with a drinking problem living in snowy Fort Dundas. One day she comes across this grisly murder and soon she’s on the hunt for a mysterious serial killer that has orchestrated these ritualistic manipulative corpses. As she’s trying to figure what all this is about, Donald Sutherland comes in to do a scenery-chewing cameo where he can deliver this ominous ooga booga speech that will no doubt become important to the plot, to which Christopher Heyerdahl fares rather better.
The film seems to look like the work of somebody who has watched and enjoyed both Fargo and Seven and can’t seem to figure out how much to borrow or rip off from each. So, unsurprisingly, The Calling is not very good in terms of the mystery that is happening in the film, plus you can pretty much work out who the killer will be instantly when you see him. But what is good is the relationship between Susan Sarandon and Ellen Burstyn, who plays her mother, as the relationship is quite sparky and fractious, yet quite sweet and enjoyable at the same time. Susan Sarandon has always been a fantastic actress, and here she does give a solid performance as the run-down investigator, whilst Ellen Burstyn seems to be enjoying what has been a very welcome big-screen revival lately; she stole the show in Kevin Costner’s latest release Draft Day and made a memorable cameo in Christopher Nolan’s epic Interstellar.
Although the unfolding murder mystery is pretty much clichéd, uninteresting, seen-it-all-before and not something to be bothered by, all the stuff with Susan Sarandon and Ellen Burstyn works rather well and makes The Calling worthwhile. But the murder mystery? Less so.
Special Features: Making The Calling
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