Call Parent Guide
The plot's time travel element is compelling and creates situations you usually don't see in horror flicks.
Parent Movie Review
Seo-yeon (Park Shin-Hye) has moved into her old childhood home in a small village in South Korea. Unfortunately, she’s stuck using the old 90’s style house phone, since she seems to have lost her cell on the train ride up. But the old house phone can make calls her cell never could – even to the past. Somehow, the phone is connecting Seo-yeon with Young-sook (Jong-seo Jun), who lived in the same house in the 1990s. Although the two have little in common, they find themselves talking more and more…but the conversations are increasingly ominous. Young-sook’s mother (El Lee) is into some extreme shamanistic practices and has adopted dangerous and harmful measures to “cure” her daughter’s mental illness. In Seo-yeon’s timeline, the attempted exorcism has fatal consequences but with a warning from the future, Young-sook is able to change the outcome. The repercussions of altering the past start to spiral out of control as Young-sook decides she wants more – and Seo-yeon begins to wonder if she did the right thing in the first place.
This is one of the more interesting horror movies I’ve seen lately. Think The Lake House but with more weird cult-y murder and (tragically) less Keanu Reeves. The time-travel aspect of the plot is compelling and makes for situations you don’t see in most other horror flicks – and best of all, they don’t explain how it works. Nothing spoils a fun horror movie as quickly as over-explaining the mysteries. (I don’t want to know how Michael Myers is so preternaturally un-killable – I just want to see him hunt down high-school students on Halloween.)
As with most horror movies, this isn’t going to be a top pick for a family movie night. Graphic and gory violence are fairly common throughout, and the consequences are severe. There is also a healthy smattering of profanity – 23 sexual expletives in the Korean version with English subtitles. That number might be a little different in the English dub, but it’s likely similar.
One thing you need to know: If this sounds like your kind of movie and you’re planning to watch it, TURN IT OFF WHEN THE CREDITS START. For some unknowable reason, the filmmakers spliced a secondary ending over the credits and it’s just remarkably stupid. Not because it’s darker or whatever, it’s just unnecessary. It introduces all kinds of weird plot holes that didn’t exist in the original ending. This is an intriguing entry in the genre – don’t spoil it by sequel-baiting.Directed by Chung-Hyun Lee. Starring Park Shin-Hye, Jong-seo Jun, Sung-Ryung Kim. Running time: 112 minutes. Theatrical release November 27, 2020. Updated November 27, 2020
Rating & Content Info
Why is Call rated TV-MA? Call is rated TV-MA by the MPAA
Violence: There are several instances of bloody violence involving a variety of weapons. Individuals are also bitten, burned, scalded, beaten, and injured in explosions. There are depictions of a dismembered body and other dead bodies.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are 23 uses of a sexual expletive, five scatological curses, and occasional terms of deity and mild profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An adult character is occasionally seen smoking tobacco.
Page last updated November 27, 2020
Call Parents' Guide
If you could go back in time and change something in your life what would you choose? What do you think the repercussions would be? Would you like to go back and change history? Do you think the overall results would be positive or negative?
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If you’re looking to get into intense Korean films, Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite might be a good place to start. He also directed the remarkably grotesque Snowpiercer, which stars Chris Evans. If you’re looking to get into Asian horror films more broadly, the Japanese films The Grudge or Ring might be a good place to start.