The Calling (2014) – Review

In a genre full of splatter horror and encounters with spectres of the afterlife there is always room for a good crime thriller, where a washed out yet passionate cop tries to solve the mystery behind a series of gruesome murders. With a powerful cast that promises – and maybe guarantees – an interesting choice, The Calling should not be bypassed by the warm-blooded fans, but also it’s not a case of pure adrenaline rush or breath taking agony.

Set in the rural town of Fort Dundas, which seems to be forgotten by any villain or criminal, Detective Hazel Micallef (Susan Sarandon) finds herself entangled in a bizarre case, when the first gory murder of an old lady occurs.

What seems to be a random and isolated incident is proved to be the continuance of a series of murders, all connected with one powerful element: religion.

The plot of The Calling is strongly dependent on religious facts, but I have to stress that there are no spinning heads or deep, hellish voices coming out of teenage girls. In this case, Detective Micallef and her crew of fellow detectives (the entertaining characters of Gil Bellows and Venom…I mean Topher Grace), come face to face with a deranged man who thinks he can bring the dead back into life.

Even though his murders are savage, his intentions appear to be pure and noble. How could that be since he’s butchering a bunch of people? Director Jason Stone has a quite adequate explanation. All of his actions are part of a highly sentimental and religious plan; exactly how God had intended it.

Susan Sarandon was a big surprise. At first, she doesn’t seem to fit in her role of the hard-core Detective, but interestingly, she manages to paint the portrait of a seriously traumatized and troubled woman who is meant to be a Detective.

Topher Grace’s character is also a big plus to this movie. He plays the role of Micallef’s assistant; the cop who does all the dirty work.

And of course, the appearance of Donald Sutherland should not be excluded from this extravaganza. He is certainly perfect for the role of Father Price who seems to be just an extra in the storyline…at first.

In a few words, The Calling is good. There’ve been plenty of other crime thrillers like this one before, like The Flock , Disturbia , The Call and Untraceable and perhaps done better. However, let’s just say that the story doesn’t reek of clichés and worn out dialogues. Let’s also say, that the cast is particularly strong and convincing. And finally, let’s all give Susan Sarandon a chance to prove that she can make a good Detective.

And to quote Joe E. Brown in Some Like it Hot: Well, nobody’s perfect. Neither is The Calling. 5/10

2 Responses to “The Calling (2014) – Review”
  1. The Donald Sutherland factor alone is enough for me to want to see this, one of the great screen presences!


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