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Mark H. Harris

Could Halle Berry's The Call Be Brad Anderson's Mainstream Breakthrough?

By February 22, 2013

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The Call
TriStar

With movies like The Machinist and Session 9 under his belt, director Brad Anderson has been the walking embodiment of cult filmmaking. All but one of his movies have earned both a "Fresh" rating on RottenTomatoes and a 6-plus rating on IMDb (His lowest rated effort, Vanishing on 7th Street, still earned a respectable 52% from critics and 4.9 from viewers.), and yet his highest box office gross to date (his early romantic comedy Next Stop, Wonderland) has been a less-than-whopping $3.4 million. Even his television directorial efforts -- Fringe, The Wire, The Killing, Treme, Masters of Horror, Fear Itself -- have been more critical or fan darlings than ratings hits.

But with his next movie,The Call, Anderson is almost certain to achieve his biggest mainstream success to date. The thriller, which stars Halle Berry as a 911 operator who receives a call from a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) being held captive by a serial killer (the always entertaining Michael Eklund), comes from the writers of such popular fare as 13 Ghosts, Exit Wounds, Taking Lives and Perfect Stranger and was originally going to be helmed by Joel Schumacher (none of which fills me with confidence about the movie's quality). The trailer looks almost shockingly commercial for Anderson, but it still seems to have some popcorn appeal; frankly, it better have some sort of appeal, given it replaced the Carrie remake on the March schedule for Sony. We'll see how it turns out when The Call hits theaters on March 15.

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