For your late-night spooks
ICYMI, ‘The Call’ starring Park Shin-hye and Jeon Jong-seo dropped on Netflix earlier this week. At first glance, it looks like your average run of the mill horror film, but if we’ve learned anything from Korean entertainment, it’s anything but.
The film starts off with Park Shin-hye’s Seo-yeon, a beaten twenty-something who’s lost faith in herself and her family after a tragic accident.
She digs up an old cordless phone from her childhood home after losing her cellphone, where she receives nightly calls from a woman living in the same house, 20 years ago.
‘The Call’ is not so much supernatural as it is a psychological thriller, as we dig into the psyche of the two intertwined women. Just when you think you’ve got the time travel story pegged, you’re sucker-punched into a heartbreaking tale of deceit, mental health, and family ties – to say the least.
The pacing is also a noteworthy facet that most Western horror films nowadays just don’t hold. There’s no faux-warm backstory to reel viewers in – from the get-go, you ought to be focused to get what’s happening. It could even take another viewing to spot some red herrings and easter eggs here and there.
As with most foreign mediums, we recommend subs, not dubs, for the full experience.
The film doesn’t end as triumphantly as its mid-parts though, as its confusing closing scene throws viewers off a tad bit too far – so much so that the shock value sadly trumps logic in such a realistically-executed film.
Nonetheless, it’s the type of horror that doesn’t keep you up with chills, but with the thought of what you would do yourself. And probably a few ‘The Call ending explained’ Google searches.
Ultimately, ‘The Call’ is a twisted and complex film that further proves that Korean filmmakers (and creatives in general) are one to watch out for. With storytellers like Bong Joon-ho proving just the same with ‘Parasite‘ in 2019, we’re still keeping our phone lines open.
Verdict: ‘The Call’ is a fresh mind-bending take on an overused plot device, but its ending could have you wishing to turn back the clock instead.
Check it out on Netflix.
Banner Graphic by Beatrix Zaragoza