Faith for the Dying
Detective Hazel Micallef (Susan Sarandon) hasn't had a great deal to do in the sleepy town of Fort Dundas other than the occasional fracas and feeding her pill and alcohol habit which she tries to keep hidden from her colleague Detective Ray Green (Gil Bellows). But first there is one murder and then another, neither of which are in the least bit normal which leads to Hazel and Ray suspecting they have a serial killer at large but is also leads them to consult Father Price (Donald Sutherland) as there seems to be some sort of religious sub context to the killings.
Whilst I adore movies as much as I always have I don't have my finger on the pulse of what is getting made like I once did and prefer stumbling across movies at random rather than watching only the latest movies. As such when I come across a movie just three years old which features famous actors but doesn't have a huge amount of reviews I begin to wonder why. It is exactly what I thought when I came across "The Calling" as a cast which includes Susan Sarandon, Gil Bellows, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace and Donald Sutherland is pretty decent yet going by the surprising lack of reviews for a movie with that cast from just 3 years ago has some thing just didn't add up.
But as you watch "The Calling" it becomes clearly abundant why this movie probably didn't get watched by many, it is painfully slow and despite having some gruesome elements lacks any sort of peaks or troughs to make it exciting during the set up. Take for example revelations from a dead body with the stomach cut out to a coroner saying that another body had its faced fixed in a scream by someone holding it that way for an hour, they are delivered in such a matter of fact way that they almost end up more like moments of black comedy rather than whatever they are meant to be. It ends up being slow and strange although there is some thing strangely fascinating about it and the characters.
That fascination comes not only from finding out what is going on with the killings and their religious connections but also from the characters. As the movie starts are initial scenes with Hazel make us suspect she has a drink and drug habit, even stealing tablets out of the pill bottles of a victim of the killer. But then slowly we learn more about her, her relationship with a doctor, why she takes tablets, what that means professionally and suddenly this woman becomes curious. Just as curious is the arrival of Ben Wingate a city detective who asked to be transferred to the sleepy town. As such as slowly as we learn about the killings we also slowly learn more about the detectives involved and it gets intriguing. There is in fact almost some thing amusing about these characters and the way they talk to each other.
What this all boils down to is that "The Calling" is a slow burner a movie which the longer you watch the more curious it becomes and more involved you feel. But it is a movie which is slow going and you need to stick with it appreciate its curious nature.