Sunday, 31 July 2016

The Calling (3½ Stars)

Thank you, Amazon Prime. I wanted to see this film when it was in the cinema 18 months ago, but you know how it goes: I was busy and kept putting it off, and when I finally had time the film's run was over. "So many films, so little time". But tonight I found it listed among the films included with my Amazon Prime subscription.

Hazel Micallef is a police inspector in the small town Port Dundas in Ontario. She's called to investigate the murder of an old woman in her home. The unusual thing about the death is that the mouth has been forced into a position posthumously, as if saying something. By chance Hazel hears about a death under similar circumstances in a neighbouring area. Suspecting a serial killer, she rings other police districts and finds another seven similar murders, spread across Canada.

The investigations continue with more thorough autopsies, and it's discovered that the people weren't murdered at all. They all committed suicide in order, from west to east, and their bodies were cut with a knife after death to make the police suspect murder. Of course, Hazel wants to find the man present at all the suicides who mutilated the corpses. Then she discovers the existence of an ancient cult that believes Christ could only be resurrected after the suicide of 12 disciples, so she suspects that there will be another three deaths. But who will be resurrected this time?

This is a fascinating film with solid acting from Susan Sarendon as a whiskey drinking police inspector. Despite the supernatural background it's a murder mystery, even after the cause of the deaths is discovered to be suicide. Questions are left open, such as why the 12 suicides had to be stretched from the west to the east coast of Canada. The slow pace might not be pleasing to everyone, but it serves to intensify the atmosphere.

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