Monday, August 16, 2010


The Calling
  • The Calling
  • The Calling
Lots of women get the feeling that their boyfriends become different people after they've married them, but one finds herself dealing with a much bigger problem than leaving socks around the house or not taking out the trash in this supernatural thriller. Kristie (Laura Harris) is a sweet but slightly na├»ve young woman who is soon to marry the man she loves, Marc St. Clair (Richard Lintern), a television reporter. On the night of their wedding, Marc leads Kristie away from the wedding reception and takes her virginity near a strange stone monument in the woods. Kristie is a bit surprised by this behavior and even more startled when she discovers she's pregnant. Nine months after her wedding day, Kristie's son, Dylan, is born and the new mother is thrilled, but as the child grows older, she begins to sense that things aren't right. Marc seems to take an obsessive interest in his son, while even more surprisingly, his boss, Elizabeth (Alice Krige), is nearly as interested as Marc. In time, when Dylan begins to display telekinetic powers and Kristie discovers Elizabeth has given him a book of Satanic prophesy, Kristie begins to wonder what sort of a person Marc really is -- and whose child did she really bear? – All-Movie Guide
19% want to see it

PG, 1 hr. 29 min.

Director: Jan Dunn, Richard Caesar

August 15, 2010: Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Year C)

If you’ve watched any movie involving the antichrist, then you’ve already seen most of The Calling because it freely references all of them, from classics like The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby to deservedly obscure dreck like Bless The Child. (It also, inexplicably, riffs on Eyes Wide Shut. Who knows why?) The only original idea The Calling has going for it is the notion that the antichrist must go through events paralleling (albeit, sped up) the life of Christ by having corrupted, satanic versions of a baptism, a crucifixion, and a resurrection.

Maybe it’s that one spark of originality that kept me mysteriously glued to the movie till the end. It certainly wasn’t the script which not even the dependably weird Alice Krige could save. I mean, it was actually painful to watch a fairly solid actress like Laura Harris forced to play a character so irritatingly stupid. “Son, are you impaling your guinea pig? Oh, you kids do the darndest things!” Seriously, would someone please explain to aspiring screenwriters that naive and moronic are not the same thing.

And while you’re at it, tell them to pay attention in their religious ed classes too. Look, anytime you’ve got a movie dealing with Christianity, it’s pretty much a given that the teachings are going to be played with fast and loose. But The Calling really jumps the shark in one scene. Without giving too much away, a mysterious character (please allow me to introduce myself) explains to Ms. Harris that she had to be drugged and raped on her wedding night in order to conceive the antichrist because… that’s exactly what God did to an unwitting Virgin Mary. Riiiight.

I suppose, given who the character is (pleased to meet you, hoped you guessed my name), it’s quite possible that he’s lying. But the movie never says so, which means we’re to assume in this film’s universe that Mary must be the worst sufferer of Stockholm Syndrome ever. How else to explain her exclamation in this week’s reading? “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name.” Not exactly the way most rape victims talk about about their abusers, huh?

I think I’ll stick to Mary’s story as originally written, where her fiat “Be it done unto me according to your word” makes her willing participation quite clear because, as the Catechism notes, “By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity.” Plus, I’m pretty sure the real Mary would have been smart enough to recognize something was wrong after her son hung the family dog.


newguy40 said...

I'll have to give this one a go...
I love Alice Krige. I foud her oddly attractive when I first saw her in Ghost Story (1981).

There is no end to the wierd Marian crud I often hear from folks I work with to the really wierd stuff on the internet.

EegahInc said...

Go ahead. make no mistake, it's a bad movie. But it's oddly watchable. And, yes, Krige has her creepy seduction going on throughout the movie.

Wildrow12 said...

Still say the best guy ever to play Old Scratch was De Niro in "Angel Heart".

The man exudes everything I imagine the Lord of Lies to be like: he's smooth, calm, calculating, and utterly devoid of human warmth save for a manufactured smile.

To this day I still get chills watching his performance.

EegahInc said...

He's one of my favorite satans as well. (Kind of an odd thing for a Christian to say, really.) Years ago I attended a friend's wedding where the singer was a dead ringer for a younger DeNiro from Angel Heart. I was severely scolded after the ceremony because when the guy stood up to sing, 'somebody' whispered "Johnnnny" and the whole aisle went into uncontrollable giggles during what should have been a very touching version of Bryan Adam's "Everything I Do".

Wildrow12 said...


Eega, you truly are a man after my own heart.

PaperSmyth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

So, out of curiosity, do you intend to review "The Breakfast Club vs. the Puppet Masters" -- aka The Faculty"?

EegahInc said...

Ah, you noticed the connection. I'm sure I can find a place for The Faculty somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Ever seen "Ghost Town"? I was reminded of it the other night while watching "Tremors 4" with my husband. Might be a nice break from some of the gruesome horror you've been watching lately.

Xena Catolica

EegahInc said...

Which Ghost Twon, there's a few? I'm guessing it's the one from the late 80s where the guy goes back in time to fight the ghosts? I don't think I've seen that since it hit video way back when and can barely remember it. Now I want to see it again! I'll have to track down a copy.

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