The Call (2020)

Directed by Timothy Woodward Jr. Written by Patrick Stibbs. Starring Lin Shaye, Tobin Bell, Chester Rushing, Erin Sanders, Mike C. Manning and Sloane Morgan Siegel.

Plot: in 1987, a group of friends are put through hell after a woman they taunted dies unexpectedly.

This movie was a great surprise to me and DJ. Sure, Lin Shaye and Tobin Bell are usually entertaining, but we still weren’t expecting much since most of the reviews were so bad. Well, we can admit when we’re wrong and we’ll certainly tell you when other people are. So, please, give this little gem a viewing before you make up you’re mind.

The movie follows four teenagers: Chris (Rushing), who just moved to town, Tonya (Sanders), whose little sister disappeared some time ago, Zack (Manning), a dick who’s sort of dating Tonya and Brett (Siegel), Zack’s brother, wuss, and extra fodder. Tonya, Zack and Brett have always believed that neighborhood weirdo and presumed witch, Edith Cranston (Shaye) had something to do with Tonya’s sister disappearing, so they go to her house to throw bricks at her windows – again. This time, Chris, accompanies them because he likes Tonya. Once there though, Edith surprises them by confronting them face-to-face and telling them that she’ll never leave her house. But that night, she hangs herself anyway.

Everything really gets going after that. Edward (Bell), Edith’s husband, calls the four teenagers to tell them to meet him at his house. Not sure why they all show up, but moving on from that, he tells them that they are all in Edith’s will. He explains that there is a phone in a room at the end of the hall connected to a phone placed in Edith’s casket and if one-by-one, they can go and stay on said phone for one minute, they will receive $100,000 a piece. Jumping at the chance to make such money, Zack goes first. Which is when the horror starts.

Turns out Edith can communicate with them through the phone. And even worse, in death, she now knows their deepest fears and secrets and uses that knowledge to play with them. The things you find out about the teenagers aren’t all surprising, but some are. For instance, it turns out Chris isn’t as innocent as you think and Tonya is the worst of anyone. I won’t tell you their individual fears or secrets though because that would ruin it. I’ll just say that’s unsettling as hell and we like the idea behind the whole movie.

It was set in the 80’s and we’re not sure why, but it didn’t take anything away from the movie, so we really didn’t care. Aside from them going to the house when Edward called, the characters were very believable and acted accordingly. It followed the rules it established and the cast, even beyond Shaye and Bell, were well chosen. Give this one a look. We didn’t love it, but we liked it a lot and totally recommend it for this Halloween season.

My score: 67. DJ’s score: 72.

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