Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef (Susan Sarandon) leads a quiet life with her mother (Ellen Burstyn), her painkillers, and an occasional drink. But when she checks on an ill neighbor, she stumbles upon a gruesome murder that shatters her peaceful existence.
With the help of a fellow detective (Gil Bellows) and a transfer cop (Topher Grace), she unearths a series of similar killings across the country. When a local priest (Donald Sutherland) suggests a link to an ancient ritual, Hazel focuses her search on a religious madman with a deadly higher calling.
Based on the novel by Inger Ash Wolfe, it’s a journey to the shadowy landscape between faith and fear.
What We Thought:
I was kind of surprised that The Calling ended up going direct to video. After all, it’s got a great cast, the trailer was fantastic, and ultimately, it turned out to be a really good film.
So why didn’t it go to theaters? Well, it’s just not all that theatrical. It’s a really gripping film with terrific performances, but there’s nothing about it that I think would have stood out in a crowded multiplex.
That being said, as far as DTV titles go, The Calling is excellent. Susan Sarandon is in top form as an alcoholic police inspector who stumbles across a murder investigation thats way bigger than her sleepy town has ever seen before. Gil Bellows, Topher Grace, and Christopher Heyerdahl are all excellent in their supporting roles, as well.
The film isn’t so much a mystery in terms of whodunit as much as it is a whydunit, and that works in its favor. This isn’t an action-packed thriller, but it delivers suspense and interesting characters, which is more than you can say for a lot of so-called thrillers these days.
The Calling is a great little film that more people should see. Track it down.