CALL aka THE CALL (2019) Reviews and overview

 

Call is a 2019 Korean science-fiction horror film about a serial killer who puts another woman’s past on the line to change her own fate. Also known as The Call

Written and directed by Chung-Hyun Lee, the movie stars Park Shin-Hye (#Alive), Jong-seo Jun, Kim Sung-Ryung, Oh Jeong-Se, Dong-hwi Lee and El Lee. Produced by Hul-sun Jeong.

Plot:

When twenty-eight-year-old Seo-yeon (Park Shin-Hye) loses her Galaxy cell phone on her way to visit her sick, estranged mother in a rural area, she digs up a decade-old cordless phone from the junk closet of her childhood home. She suddenly gets a call from a woman named Young-sook (Jong-seo Jun) asking for her friend. Seo-yeon hangs up thinking the woman has the wrong number but later learns that the call was coming from the same house… twenty years previously!

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Devoid of any logic, sense, and realism, but in the most mind-f*cking way possible […] The Call compensates for the big lack of scares with suspense, gore, and diabolical twists, as it effectively forces you to question who’s good and who’s evil, and it is exactly the audacious approach that makes so gripping in its absurdity.” CineMarvellous!

“With the two timelines running parallel, any changes to the past influence the future in a strange sort of real-time. Also, the way in which the present changes is shown in a rather gorgeous way. Very simple and both uplifting and heartbreaking as the story progresses […] If you enjoy horror-thrillers with time-warps and serial killers, then The Call is definitely a movie for you!” Heaven of Horror

“Fans of gore and all things messed up, The Call delivers on its promise. The hopelessness of the situation and Seo-yeon’s wickedness go hand-in-hand with the horror […] The Call, with its messed up but original storyline and presentation, creates a hopeless world where winning doesn’t seem like an option. it’s a delightful watch that will keep you thinking long after you’re done with it.” Leisurebyte

“The time-travel aspect of the plot is compelling and makes for situations you don’t see in most other horror flicks – and best of all, they don’t explain how it works […] Graphic and gory violence are fairly common throughout, and the consequences are severe. There is also a healthy smattering of profanity…” Parent Previews

“The engaging storytelling keeps the viewers hooked until the end. However, the grip catches on only in the second half and doesn’t resort to the jump scares. While the first half focuses on setting up the dominos, the second half watches the dominos fall at a fast pace. Although this propels the viewers to lock their eyes on the screen, the final twist doesn’t come through easily.” Pinkvilla

“With solid performances, excellent production highlighting the cause and effect relationship between parallel past and present timelines, and a willingness to get lurid where necessary, The Call is a solid effort, and all within two hours. Well worth a look on Netflix…” Ready Steady Cut!

” …the movie manages to nail the right amount of unnerving tension across its run-time. For those more accustomed to the quirks and tropes in Asian cinema and dramas, The Call is a pacey, enjoyable thriller ruined by a final bid to shoot for a sequel and unable to quite make the most of its talented cast on-hand. It’s certainly not a bad film but it’s far from the great one it so easily could have been with a bit more editing and a thoughtful ending.” The Review Geek

Scroll down for YouTube review(s)

Release:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film’s theatrical release was cancelled and it was streamed worldwide on Netflix on November 27th 2020.

Cast and characters:

Park Shin-Hye … Seo-yeon
Jong-seo Jun … Young-sook
Kim Sung-Ryung … Seo-yeon’s mother (as Sung-ryung Kim)
Oh Jeong-Se … Sung-Ho
Dong-hwi Lee … Baek Mi-hyun
El Lee … Young-sook’s mother
Ho-San Park … Seo-yeon’s father

Filming details:

Filming began January 3rd 2019 and finished April 2nd 2019.

Technical details:

112 minutes

Original title:

콜 aka Kol

Notes: 

The end credits include a secondary ending with a further twist.

Not to be confused with the 2020 American horror flick The Call which stars Lin Shaye and Tobin Bell or the 2013 serial killer thriller The Call starring Halle Berry (which is also on Netflix).

More Korean movies

Trailer:

YouTube reviews:

Ending explained: