The Calling (★★★ Empire Review)

CallingSquarePLOT In a sleepy Canadian town, a dog-tired detective (Sarandon) leads a desperate manhunt for a bold and prolific serial killer, whose mantra seems to be ‘kill or cure’.

When the sleepy Canadian border town of Fort Dundas, Ontario wakes up to find that a serial killer is targeting seemingly random victims, it falls to to under-qualified, over-tired detective Hazel Micaleff (Sarandon) to unravel a mystery which threatens to dredge up her own demons. Based on the book by Inger Ash Wolfe, this engaging – but, crucially, never quite gripping – thriller is a gloomy yet classy affair, with meaty supporting roles for Donald Sutherland and Ellen Burstyn, and a startling turn from Christopher Heyerdahl as a killer on a creepy crusade. The wintry setting evokes Fargo and Nordic noir, but despite Sarandon’s presence, this is TV movie territory.

VERDICT If TV had a Saga Channel, this intriguing, if never quite gripping, serial killer thriller would play on a loop, in between reruns of Matlock and NCIS. ★★★


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