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observation notes: When A Killer Calls

This one's gonna be brief. I'll be the first to admit I have questionable taste, at best, and truly do enjoy reveling in the films others deem "B" or "crap," but there's some stuff even I won't watch. Japanese Horror movies give me the deep-down, soul-resounding heebie-jeebies; melodramatic cancer films make me shiver like a newborn; Dane Cook causes me to spontaneously projectile vomit. But if there's one thing I just really can't watch, it's torture porn. That shit just freaks me out. It's sensational - not in a good way - and glorifies things that, well, are fucking weird and creepy, especially when you throw in the "porn" label, as though people get off on it. "Torture porn;" it's just ick to me (that's not a typo; i meant "ick," not "sick"). And though it might be a harsh term to apply here, the majority of this film is about as close to torture porn as you get, I imagine. I wouldn't know, honestly, I don't watch torture porn. Have I made that clear enough?

Thing is, I'm already a paranoid, skeptical, mentally unbalanced hypochondriac; I am fully aware that our world is overrun with perverts, maniacs, delusional, desperate and morally bankrupt cretins who mean me harm. I get it, I really do. So when I sit down for a good scare, I want the emphasis, in the end, on good and not scare. If I want to experience a horror that lingers, I'll watch the news. Because I like my horror fantastic - made-up, implausible, with the good kind of nudity - not brutally realistic. I have enough trouble sleeping.

So, whether this movie is good or not, I'm admitting I can't give you a complete review because I couldn't finish it. Not a commentary on the filmmaking or performances - I want to make that clear - this is purely a topic thing. I can tell you that lead Rebekah Kochan (Pirates of Treasure Island, Halloween Night, Freakshow) is ridiculously and uncomfortably convincing as the babysitting target, and madman Mark Irvingsen (Scarecrow Slayer) is more than an appropriate choice for the role. But honestly, this is such a hackneyed and often-visited idea to begin with; even the beauty of Camilla Belle couldn't make a big-budget remake palatable. So what was the hope here? Well, apparently the hope was to lure in those who thought the Hollywood version could have done with a touch more bondage. And by "a touch," I mean "a shitload."

To each his own, but this wasn't mine. However, to the film's credit, from what I saw, if you do go in for this sort of thing, you probably won't be disappointed with When a Killer Calls. From Peter Mervis, director of Snakes on a Train, another film I had trouble watching, again, not because of the film, but because of the topic; I'm ophidiophobic as a motherfucker.

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