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Babycall (3 stars)

Noomi Rapace stars in creepy thriller that loses focus

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Babycall

(15) 96min

Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, whose fearless performance as Lisbeth Salander was the best thing about the original Millenium trilogy, gets a chance to stretch her acting muscles again in this creepy thriller. Rapace plays Anna, a young mother who has been rehoused with her eight-year-old son Anders after escaping her abusive husband. On the advice of child services, Anna buys a ‘babycall’ – a one-way baby monitor – so that she can rest easy while Anders sleeps in his own room. But one night she hears other voices through the intercom, both frightened and threatening.

It’s a well-paced, gradually established scenario; Norwegian writer/director Pål Sletaune keeps us guessing as to what is really going on, while drip-feeding information that slowly undermines the reliability of Anna’s perspective. But as the film moves towards its conclusion, more outlandish plot developments pile up, and what began as a tightly controlled exercise starts to fall apart. Sletaune aims for a Sixth Sense-type final reveal, but goes much too far, with a twist that glosses over so many inconsistencies that anyone who’s attempted to follow the plot will feel short-changed.

Selected release from Fri 30 Mar.

Babycall

  • 3 stars
  • 2011
  • Norway
  • 96 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Pål Sletaune
  • Cast: Noomi Rapace, Kristoffer Joner, Henrik Rafaelsen
  • UK release: 30 March 2012

Anna (Rapace) is a mother who has been rehoused with her 8-year-old son after escaping her abusive husband, but after buying the eponymous baby monitor she starts to hear strange and threatening voices through it. Sletaune keeps us guessing but the plot falls apart, and the final twist is unconvincing.

Elsewhere on the web

Babycall (2011) (Trailer / Teaser)

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