To my knowledge The Calling has received absolutely zero promotion, It just happens to be that I browse the cinema listings quite frequently so stumbled upon it there. I find this strange as much of the cast are quite well known so I was immediately puzzled at the lack of buzz created for this film. Anyway I read the synopsis and gleaned that this was a police crime drama so I was in!
The Calling falls under my favourite film genre, Thriller. This year there haven’t been many of this genre that have excited me apart from the fantastic Before I Go To Sleep. Due to the lack of promotion and the average looking poster I didn’t have high hopes that this thriller could compete but overall this was actually a really solid film which I thoroughly enjoyed. What The Calling does so well is convey a sense of creepiness, this was done perfectly and during several scenes I really was very unnerved. One to highlight in particular was the first scene which featured Donald Sutherland, his portrayal of the priest, Father Price, was so great and added a lot to this scene which had an overwhelming sense of anxiety attached to it. However whilst the film was most definitely creepy the overall feeling of tension that is required for films like this to work was slightly lacking. Of course there were many moments in which this tension was present however there were too many moments when I wasn’t on edge, I want to be like this for the entirety of a thriller.
I thought that all the cast performed well and the fact that it was made up of not quite A-Listers helped to create a sense of reality. Topher Grace and Susan Sarandon were both good in their roles, especially Sarandon who quickly leaves behind Tammy (contender for worst film of the year) with this new effort. The themes of religion throughout where so interesting and gave the story a deeper plot with plenty to explore. I know that the ending to this film will infuriate so many people however I thought it was great. It clearly parallels the Resurrection account from the gospels and will spark the same kind of arguments for where the body has gone. Did the body actually rise from the dead or did someone move it etc, the options are endless and I like that the film lets you decide what you think happened. Something different about this film was that we learn fairly soon into the film who the murderer is, the fact that this film still intrigued me and freaked me out was impressive because usually the intrigue into who the killer is would be the driving force behind my interest but of course that wasn’t possible here.
The Calling ends up being a great thriller that is sure to really creep you out. If you have any interest in religion you should enjoy the themes of the same subject that run through the movie. The Calling is also really well acted and there are a few stand out scenes thanks to Sutherland. It’s a real shame that this film hasn’t been promoted as it is one of the surprise hits of 2014 for me.
BIGGEST FLAW – Lack of an overall tension throughout the whole movie
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – The interest and intrigue that is born out of the religious themes
Rating – 8.5/10