Thursday 21 June 2012

Babycall (aka The Monitor) (2011)

Young mother Anna moves into an apartment block with her 8 year old son. It soon becomes apparent that both mother and son are escaping the clutches of Anders' abusive father, with the help of social services. Anna is extremely neurotic, always in fear that the father will find where they live and attack Anders. So in turn she is over protective of her son, sleeping in the same bed and even to the point of waiting outside his school all day.

After social services visit her home, they tell her that Anders should sleep in his own room. To aid in the process, she buys a baby monitor from a local shop, whereupon she meets helpful sales assistant, Helge.

After hearing some unpleasant and possible violent sounds over the monitor, she goes back to the shop and asks Helge for more assistance, where he advises her that the most probable cause is interference from another monitor located in the building.

But is what's she's hearing and her thoughts and emotions so impaired by past events that contact is lost with external reality? As she starts to loose grip of reality, her relationship with her son is strained.

To normalise herself she seeks friendship from Helge, who also is troubled by the health of his mother. Anders has also found himself a friend in the form of a boy of the same age. In the meantime, frequent visits from Ole, the social worker, are becoming a bit too personal and more worries begin with news that Anders father is seeking custody. With the increase of pressure, can Anna keep a grip of her son and reality?

This award winning (Gérardmer Film Festival - Best Film & International Critics Award 2012) Norwegian film has the consistency of most European horrors, slow paced but with a good amount of psychological tension that keeps you wanting to know more. It keeps you guessing right up till the shock ending. Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Prometheus) offers a solid performance once again, making it easy to understand why Hollywood has snapped her up. The rest of the casts roles are built around Rapace's charater with a perfect amount of support. With simple direction and writing, this movie shows the mainstream film makers that a good film doesn't have to be over worked and over stretched to produce a good movie.

If you like your horror moody and thoughtful, then this is one to watch.

Babycall gets 7/10

Director & Writer - Pål Sletaune

The Cast -
Noomi Rapace as Anna
Vetle Qvenild Werring as Anders
Kristoffer Joner as Helge
Stig R. Amdam as Ole
Maria Bock as Grete
Torkil Johannes Swensen Høeg as Anders' friend

Check out the trailer below...

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