The Call

Rated 2.0

A 911 operator (Halle Berry) loses her nerve when she feels responsible for a kidnap and murder; six months later, she fields a call from a victim in a car trunk (Abigail Breslin) who may have fallen into the clutches of the same killer. The artless sadism works for a while, thanks to Berry's strong performance and support from Roma Maffia as her sympathetic boss and Morris Chestnut as her cop fiancé. Alas, Richard D'Ovidio's script (from a story by himself, Nicole D'Ovidio and Jon Bokenkamp) runs out of ideas; the killer's contrived backstory takes over, and the movie degenerates into a low-rent The Silence of the Lambs, turning Berry into a low-rent Jodie Foster. Director Brad Anderson, short on ideas himself, can only tighten the screws on the audience, and the movie becomes more unpleasant by the minute.