The Call: An Insidious Game

“Hello Insidious, I want to play a game.”

So, the trailer I stumbled across this week features two iconic horror actors: Lin Shaye and Tobin Bell coupling up in The Call—a supernatural chiller about a group of mates who must survive a telephone call. The phone call in question is set up by Bell’s character between the friendship group (who appear to be responsible for a prank gone wrong) and his wife, who’s dead and buried with the connecting phone. And you better believe that she answers.

Striking film poster for The Call. How long could you stay on the phone?
A Timothy Woodward Jr. film.

This film looks to be if Insidious (2010) and Saw (2004) married each other. Shaye and Bell seemingly lift their performances straight out of their respective horror worlds. Bell recites a heart-twisting greeting, “Hello, Christopher,” whilst demonstrating he’s the one that has to read the rules when you play any sort of game. Moreover, Shaye shows off her impressive range as a sweet lady looking after children one minute, and a picture of horror the next, with her face covered in gore.

The trailer reminded me of how excited I got when horror characters would share the same screen in films such as Freddy vs. Jason (2003) and Alien vs. Predator (2004). So, The Call looks to be essentially John Kramer and Elise Rainier without the versus—allowing that excitement to creep in again.

The thing I don’t like about the trailer is that its not very scary and opts for flashing scenes haphazardly rather than setting up exactly what you’re in for. I was left a bit confused by the end and would have liked the inclusion of a punchy scene to really make it worth talking about.

The heavy hitters of horror will probably overshadow the rest of the cast, but top-billed Chester Rushing (Stranger Things, Daybreak) looks to deliver a decent job. I really want to see this one. Tobin Bell is a sickeningly under-used actor, even if he is trapped in the performance of Jigsaw. The self-contained story looks to be both engaging and could offer some creative scares. The added info that it’s from the creators of Final Destination (2000) gives me hope that this will deliver when I see it.

The Call was released in limited cinemas and drive-ins on October 2 in the US.

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Written by Christopher Blackmore

Christopher Blackmore is a peculiar actor and creator of playable theatre, live game design, and surreal horror. He is partial to a bad film any day of the week and enjoys getting lost in the atmosphere of survival horror games.

Follow him @cmblackmore14 for more of his world.

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