The Call review – a phoned-in mix of ghouls, ghosts and well-worn tropes

A gang of cocky suburban teenagers raise the undead via a retro landline in a by-the-numbers horror that never picks up

This telephonically themed horror film, set in nameless American suburbia circa 1987, is not to be confused with the Korean horror film of the same name that also came out this year (and relies crucially on a landline call). This confection is a fairly shonky assemblage of tired tropes, full of dropped connections and annoying static.

Its biggest virtue is that it contains another gamey, and game-for-anything, performance from horror-film matriarch Lin Shaye. Shaye has played spooky ladies in scads of scary films, such as the Insidious franchise and lesser known fare such as the enticingly titled Helen Keller vs Nightwolves. Here she is Edith Cranston, a former schoolteacher who has been a raving mess since being blamed for the death of one of her pupils (although never convicted of the murder).

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