Anna (Noomi Rapace, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and her young son are hiding from an abusive husband and father. Although she is now living under the protection of the government, Anna never feels safe. At first, the young mother forces her child to sleep in her room, but when social workers tell her that the kid is old enough to sleep by himself, she allows the child to sleep in his own room with a baby monitor. The electronic device picks up a signal and Anna begins to hear strange noises …
Reaction & Thoughts:
Baby Call (aka The Monitor) is an engrossing, totally entertaining little thriller. The story is constructed like a puzzle and you have fun trying to put the all the pieces together.
This moody Norwegian chiller, from an original screenplay by director Pål Sletaune, hinges mostly on both a pair of excellent performances — Rapace and Kristoffer Joner (he plays a lonely store clerk Rapace befriends) — and Sletaune’s meticulous handling of the material. The film is slow-paced, but I was always glued to the story and characters. There is an element of doubt that I loved — you are not quite sure what’s going on.
The film’s twisty finale will undoubtedly draw comparisons with M. Night Shyamalan’s (The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable) work. I guess it’s unavoidable. While I’ve grown tired of Shyamalan’s modus operandi, I totally bought into Sletaune’s tricks.
Rapace is, however, the best thing about the movie — she really sells the film. I adore her. She’s always interesting. I would watch her read the phone book. Joner and Werring are pretty good too, but Rapace really commands your attention.
Conclusions & Final Thoughts:
Baby Call is a slow-burn suspenser of the old-fashioned kind. It’s not perfect, but it kept me on my toes for 96 minutes. Color, 96 minutes, Rated R.