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Babycall

Straddling the line between art film and supernatural chiller, but lacking the off-kilter imagination that allows Polanski to infuse everyday scenes with a profound sense of dread, Swedish director Pål Sletaune’s slow-burning psychological thriller often threatens to sputter out.

Fanning the flames of our interest is a sympathetic, low-key performance by Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, pictured), cast here as Anna, a mousey single mother in hiding from her abusive husband. Isolated in a Stockholm apartment, Anna is obsessed with protecting her eight-year-old son from everyone: a new school friend, his unsympathetic teachers, interfering social workers. So, with an already shaky grip on reality, when she hears phantom screams on a baby monitor, Anna doubts her sanity. Her tentative friendship with shy mummy’s boy Helge (Kristoffer Joner) offers a sliver of hope, but Anna’s mind is shattering. Throughout, Sletaune tends to hedge his supernatural bets, so it’s the naturalistic intensity of Rapace’s performance that stays with us.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday March 30 2012
Duration: 96 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Pål Sletaune
Screenwriter: Pål Sletaune
Cast: Kristoffer Joner
Henrik Rafaelsen
Noomi Rapace
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