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|Index||11 reviews in total|
25 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
How far would you go for the ones you love?, 9 October 2011
Author: OJT from Norway
This is the tag-line of much awaited new film from Pål Sletaune (behind
the great films "Naboer", "Amatørene" and "Budbringeren") is starring
Noomi Rapace and Kristoffer Joner. Seven years since "naboer" or in
English "next door", we get a film with similar ideas - a look into
disturbed or distorted minds.
Single mother Anna moves with her 8 year old son to a big flat with secret address outside Oslo to get away from her violent husband. Anna is scared stiff that they will be found, and is under heavy watch by a couple of child care workers. She get's the idea of buying a baby call so that her son doesn't have to sleep in her bed, only to find that the baby call picks up another troubled child somewhere in the flat. Anna is really on the edge, and maybe her imagination is playing her as well!?
This psychological thriller goes under your skin in the sympathy for Anna and the other troubled minds in this film. You want her to relax, but still understand how difficult it is when you trust no one.
Really great play by Rapace. She gets under your skin. The film is slow paced in a couple of periods, only to speed up at times, just as real life would be in such a situation. The film is not like you think it will be, so this is not your standard thriller. I still think I'd like another ending to this, though maybe not happy...
Well Sletaune can put another great film under his belt. Always worthwhile and interesting to get sucked into his stories. Well done!
11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Woman well beyond the verge of a nervous breakdown., 1 February 2012
Author: Nick Yeo from United Kingdom
Anna moves into hiding in a shabby flat in an apartment building
outside Oslo, with her young son Anders. She is a profoundly neurotic,
young woman: terrified that the boy's violent father will find them
again and attack her son.
Having been instructed by social services that Anders should sleep in his own room, she buys a baby-monitor from a local shop, in order that she can hear him sleep. However she starts picking up the sounds of violence from a nearby flat.
Unable to tell the difference between her psychosis induced world and reality, she seeks help from Helge, the shy sales assistant who sold her the monitor.
Just because she's paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get her.. but it does make it difficult to piece together the story, told mostly from her desperately disturbed perspective.
This film won the Grand Prize at the Gerardmer Film Festival in France: it is really worth a look.
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Surreal Thriller with a strange vibe..., 15 October 2012
Author: Rabbit-Reviews from Åland Islands
With the huge success of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and later on
Prometheus, Noomi Rapace has become a well established actress, and if
you are interested in seeing her in something closer to her home you
can check out this movie. Directed by Pål Sletaune (Next Door, You
Really Got Me) it has that strange and almost surreal atmosphere
(almost surreal, more like super surreal), so besides the Norwegian
vibe you have the surreal one too. Two phenomenal leads, Noomi Rapace
and Kristoffer Joner create a perfect setting for Babycall. While
Kristoffer didn't have much transitions to go to, Noomi here had the
opportunity to take us on a journey to a mind of a single mother and
she did it perfectly. We can understand different states of her mind,
without any words spoken and follow her mental state as the story
Anna and her son Anders have just moved into a new apartment after her husband tried to kill Anders. They now live in hiding and await the final court decision about the custody of Anders. Anna, afraid for her sons wellbeing is overprotective and is practically glued to Anders. This will be a problem when it's time for him to go back to school, and she nervously accepts this only after being chased away from school grounds. Still in fear that her husband will find them she goes to a store and buys a baby monitor. There she will meet Helge, a shy salesman troubled by his mothers illness and two of them will become friends. Trouble starts when Anna starts hearing something that sounds like an abuse and brutal beating over the baby monitor. After consulting with Helge she discovers that this is an interference from another baby monitor only 50 meters away. This is the same time when mind will start playing tricks on her, making it extremely difficult for her to get to the bottom of this...
Babycall is a strange movie, and while some might find it a bit slow, it is quite rewarding if you watch it 'till the end. It is a different take on the same thriller/horror subject so popular in Hollywood, but it definitely has its flaws. One of the main ones is the sudden turn in mood towards the end of the movie, and relatively confusing story with the heavy lifting left to the viewer.
Movie recommendations site: Rabbit-Reviews.com - Only movies worth watching
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
"Dark Water" in Norway, just without water..., 19 April 2012
Author: goakim from Denmark
Wonder why nobody didn't compare this to the Japanese horror classic "Dark water".. The setting is kind of the same.. I loved Dark water, and I liked Babycall as well, even though it was a i bit more messy, and the plot felt a little too "constructed".. But its still good.. Noomi Rapage is great in the role of a young mother on the verge of mental breakdown.. As in many new age horror movies we have a mother moving into a suburban ghetto apartment, after having troubles with her ex husband abusing their son (just like in Dark water).. She hears some strange screams on her baby alarm, and the story starts to unfold.. The atmosphere and the puzzle is well made, but the plot to easy figure in big terms.. Screenplay and acting is good.. Story a bit too mainstream for my taste, but still thrilling at times for sure.. Noomi Rapage does a very good job, lots of tension.. The sceneries and the suspense works, but I missed a little originality to the story.. But bottom line, and enjoyable ride, that could have been better with a more simply story.. A little too many threads for it own good.. Still i give it 7 cause, its well done and I am a sucker for subttle slow semi horror movies...
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Promising...., 13 December 2012
Author: Daniel Elford from United Kingdom
This has been on hold for a while, it would seem, as since this was made Noomi Rapace has become a name to follow, so this is well worth checking out for the sake of curiosity if nothing else. A great central performance and good intentions are not enough to save this film. It creates drama and tension, builds nicely and everything is very much like a classic Polanski, but when it starts to play its hand and get clever, it unfortunately ties itself up in knots and leaves you wonder what went wrong with the last act. I'm a big fan of Noomi Rapace and I don't doubt her for a second, and it must be said there is a lot of promise here, but sadly, by the end, it is little more than a good but failed effort.
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Promising plot, and actors perform very well. But only halfway successful as a thriller, due to some clues that seem forgotten, hampering our viewing experience, 12 November 2012
Author: JvH48 from Amersfoort, The Netherlands
I saw this film as part of the Imagine film festival
(SF/fantasy/horror) Amsterdam 2012. The festival website labeled it as
"horror", but I rather concur with the mixed "horror/thriller" label we
see on IMDb. We cannot help feeling sympathy with the mother (Anna) and
her son (Anders), just having moved to a hiding place where her husband
resp. his father cannot find them. We are told this is because of prior
domestic violence towards the son. It is the main reason for buying and
installing a baby monitor in the son's bedroom. Since he is 11, he
would not need such supervision in normal circumstances.
Apart from that, we see what initially looks like a sub-plot, in the form of a flirtation with the salesman (Helge) in the home electronics shop where the baby monitor is bought. The relationship strengthens later on when Anna hears alarming sounds out of the newly installed device, and seeks his advice as it is not coming from Anders' room. Helge explains that the signal can be picked up from a similar device in the neighborhood. Given that Helge is the only one taking her story seriously, and Anna feels all alone with her situation, it can be no surprise that she asks for his help. And Helge, also feeling alone, is very eager to offer some assistance.
Anna stumbles on a nearby lake, where she observes disturbing things happening on the opposite side. What she sees, obviously reminds her of her own reasons to run away from her husband. After rushing through the woods to find the place where it happened, there are no visible traces of something out of the ordinary. On later occasions Anna completely fails to find the lake again, as if it never existed in the first place. We are as confused as Anna is, since several landmarks we saw before along the path to the lake, are still on their original spot and look undisturbed.
All in all, though a few scenes could be improved by shortening some parts, I saw an entertaining mix of what was real and what only existed in Anna's mind. After a while we think we are sure what's real and what's not, given what is presented to us by the scenario writers. Acting is very good, so we are easily convinced by what we see.
However, one of the final scenes shows aforementioned lake again, after we saw with our own eyes that Anna could not find it anymore. It unexpectedly confronts us with a completely different view on the matter (no details, to prevent spoilers). In hindsight, I could remember no pointers that we may have been misled by what we had seen on screen. In other words, this was really a surprise for me, but of course, I may have missed some clues. Yet I think this should not happen in a "thriller" type of film. Some cleverly planted clues with hints that there might be more to it than what we saw, certainly would have improved our viewer experience.
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Reality or imagination? What if you know that you don't know?, 18 February 2012
Author: berndporr from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this film at the Glasgow film festival today. Both screenings were sold out. Anna moves with the 8 year old son into a shabby apartment, having escaped from a violent husband. She is scared that he might find them but also scared of herself because she knows that she blends her troubled memory with the present. The film feels like a mix of "Dead Man's Shoes" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene". The former also has an "imaginary" brother whereas the latter deals with memory and present. While in "Martha Marcy May Marlene" the transition between imagination and present worked effortlessly, in Babycall it felt like a cheat to me. It felt just as a device to keep me confused right up to the end. Mainly because it's just filmed in a very plain way like in "Dead Man's shoes". I wish they had more visual ideas, for example in "Let's talk about Kevin" or in "Martha...". The ending I found pretty disappointing because it's basically the typical art-house dramatic curve -- namely going downhill. Death is always the easy way out whereas an open ending with two troubled people would have worked better.
13 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
it's disappointing..., 3 July 2012
Author: Saad Khan from Pakistan
Baby Call The Monitor TRASH IT (C+) Baby Call is a Swedish movie about a young woman escaping from her abusive husband with her 8 year old son. Terrified that her ex-husband will find them she buys a baby monitor to keep in her son's room at all times. But strange noises echo in the baby monitor from elsewhere in the building. As she witnesses the sounds of what she believes is another child being murdered she fears it is her own. Reliving the nightmare she recently escaped Anna will need to figure out what's real and what isn't before she loses her sanity and her child. (IMDB) The premises of the movie is typical and perfect for horror movie but sadly the terrible and usual ending made the whole movie like a Big Cheat sold on the name of Noomi Rapace. The only reason movie is getting C+ is because of great performance by Noomi Rapace as She was incredible as the scared young woman terrified for her son's life. Kristoffer Joner was great as lonesome sales person. Overall, it's disappointing. I wished it had better story or at least better ending.
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A mediocre drama/thriller, 15 November 2012
Author: TheNorwegianGuy from Norway
This one was, at least in Norway, marketed as a horror film. Seeing the
trailer a long time ago, at least I got the impression of that. It
looked thrilling and frightening, capturing the feeling of paranoia.
But this is not by far a horror film. There are no frightening moments
in it at all. But it could still be a good thriller, right? Well, not
great, but not directly bad either. It's as mediocre as it could get.
It had a lot of opportunities to escalate, but it never really did, at
least not the way I wanted it to.
A huge problem I have with Norwegian movies is the acting. There is lot of over-acting. There is some of that in this one too. Kristoffer Joner is great, as he usually is. Noomi Rapace however, I think over-acted a little bit. At times, she was kind of...too dramatic. This goes for many of the other actors too. They are not that believable. But it's not that big a deal. If a movie is good, I can look past that.
Some times the movie felt more like a drama. Many times that mix can result in something great, but they didn't really pull it off here. I felt it slowed down the movie. It became plain boring at times.
One thing that struck my mind was how this movie reminded me of the Spanish horror/thriller "The Baby's room". I'm not accusing the creators of ripping it off, but I couldn't help seeing some similarities between the two. It wouldn't surprise me if it was a little inspired by it, but of course, it's two whole different plots. It was just some similar elements between the two.
Don't let me keep you from watching it. Norwegian movies are often better received outside the country than here in Norway. That's weird, but anyway, you might like it.
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Excellent acting and set up lead to a very confusing, anti-climactic and disappointing conclusion. Too many questions left unanswered, which leads to too many plot holes., 7 December 2012
Author: Nitzan Havoc from Israel
The first thing that comes to mind when trying to review this film is
that as a spectator - I don't like being left in the dark. When a film
raises clever questions with a compelling story and a thrilling set up
- then I believe it has to follow through. The answers need to be
logical, preferably with a good surprising twist that ties all the
loose ends and leaves no plot holes. Considering all this - The
Monitor/Babycall has sadly failed.
Like other similar films (i.e Naboer, which is by the same director) The Monitor/Babycall feels strange and surreal, and constantly gives the uneasy feeling that you're missing something. The excellent acting helps, and the characters of Anna and Helge/Henry seem to be a match made in heaven - one is an overprotective semi-hysterical mother, the other an odd, shy, slightly clumsy and almost antisocial salesman. Both of them anxious to the point of neurosis.
But again, that feeling like you're missing something comes to a very anticlimactic conclusion by the end, when only a short and empty answer is given, leaving many plot holes and far too many ways in which the audience can interpret the events. That feel like cheating, like instead of thinking the story through - the real work was left to us spectators.
It's a shame. The film has lots of potential to be great and reach the levels of films with similar stories like The Uninvited (Hollywood remake of Japanese film A Tale of Two Sisters) and even The Sixth Sense. Instead - well, if you watch it, you'll get the picture.
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