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The Call by John Debney (Review)

posted Mar 19, 2013, 7:21 PM by Kaya Savas

I'm not going to beat around the bush. The Call is a pretty bad movie. The movie has a great concept and it's done very slickly, but in the end the whole ordeal is laughably bad. For some that translates to a fun time at the movies, and I can see how this film can be a fun watch. However, an important thing to note is that the entire movie has to deal with tension. Suspense and tension is what is needed for this movie to survive. The antagonist needs to be menacing too, and unfortunately here he is a laughable pansy that feels like he was plucked out of Scary Movie. The tension and suspense also fall flat. So John Debney in reality doesn't have much to work with. He tries his best to work with what he's got, but in the end it goes nowhere.

The great part about this score is that Debney takes on a heavy synth approach. His synthesizer backup comes in the form of Clay Duncan and Justin Burnett who are great in that field. The score's structure itself is as plain and simple as it gets. There is no depth, no emotion or anything else. The score's sole purpose is to rack up suspense, highlight tension and pump some adrenaline when the film calls for it. Debney succeeds for the most part, but since the film moves at a breakneck speed there is no time for anything to really establish itself. The music is just keeping up with this thrill ride, and at least for me didn't help add anything else that wasn't already there which wasn't much to begin with. On its own the music has some admirable characteristics especially in the final act. Debney really plays with textures and the score almost becomes the sound design of the film. In that respect I did enjoy the listen, but after it was over I already forgot about it.

The Call is nothing special. It doesn't add anything new or give us anything we haven't heard before. Debney does an admirable effort to try and make this an edgy and gritty thriller, but the effort goes wasted on such an empty film. The electronic style of the score was interesting and definitely gave it a unique identity, but the execution sort of falls flat. This is a score worth listening to just to see what a composer like Debney was able to do with the material. Other than that this will be instantly forgettable