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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Review: The Call

Director: Chung-Hyun Lee

Screenplay: Chung-Hyun Lee

Year: 2020

Seo-Yeon lives an ordinary life until one day she receives a mysterious call. The call is from Young-Sook, with the caveat that this woman lives in the past. The phone connects both women, and the actions of one alter the life of the other.

The premise of “The Call” is simple: two women with two decades of distance from one another communicate through a phone. Then, how does “The Call” gets to be a movie with such an intricate plot? Well, with a great effort from the director and screenwriter Chung-Hyun Lee, who twists the plot to his will folding in several genres and time leaps to create a convoluted but exciting story and secure a remarkable debut as a director.

Sometimes horror, sometimes drama, with a dash of science fiction, crime and even some strokes of a slasher, “The Call” has as an objective to tell a story and doesn’t limit itself to the walls of a sole genre, but rather mixes everything it deems necessary to achieve it.  This is reflected in the convoluted development and in the good rhythm and the intensity that gradually increases scene after scene.

The plot of “The Call” is one of its strongest arguments in favor, but it's not for everyone. In parts, it can seem too complicated and requires constant attention from the viewer, so those looking for a movie to disconnect the brain, better choose something else. For those who want to enjoy a more challenging plot, you will undoubtedly enjoy this one. That being said, it is not exempt from some errors and plot holes and comes out as amateurish and even shameful after the great work done in the rest of the movie.

The second argument in favor of this movie is the work of the protagonists. Both Shin-Hye Park and Jong-seo Jung (“Burning”) have phenomenal performances that manage to keep the viewer interested in their characters and the situations that surrounds them. As usual in Korean horror cinema, this movie has a vital emotional element, and it is both actresses that manage to transmit it and make it useful.

"The Call" carries an exciting plot until the end, where some unnecessary scenes are added that only serve to add inconsistencies to the story and affect its quality. Even though, it is a good movie for those who enjoy complex plots. Besides, it carries the Korean cinema staple, with excellent acting and plenty of emotions, that plays well with its suspense.

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