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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Amid its story about brutal murders, The Calling shows the importance of reaching out to others, either through an online community or a friend or family member, to discuss what may be causing you pain.
Positive Role Models
Hazel's mother, Emily, often tries to cheer up her moody and cynical daughter. Although Hazel drinks heavily and sometimes makes questionable decisions that affect her fellow officers, her persistence and resilience help her solve the case.
Violence & Scariness
Hazel and her team are investigating a series of murders that include graphic visuals like a woman whose throat has been slit and a man whose stomach has been removed. One scene shows dogs eating the removed stomach. The victims' mouths are manipulated after death, and later Hazel reads detailed reports from the coroner's office. Ben discovers a rotting corpse in a trailer in the middle of the woods. A woman has scalding-hot water poured on her back. A man commits suicide by shooting himself in the head.
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Some uses of "s--t," "hell," and "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
References to Jim Beam and Oldsmobile.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Hazel is constantly drinking alcohol at home, in bars, and at work. She also abuses her prescription pills and is seen stealing medication from crime scenes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Calling is a crime thriller with several religious references that includes graphic images of dead bodies in various states -- such as an elderly woman with a slit throat and a man whose stomach has been removed (viewers later see dogs eating the stomach). The serial killer also positions the mouths of his victims after they've died. There are mentions of suicide, most of which are faith-based, throughout the movie, and one character shoots himself in the head. The main character drinks heavily and abuses prescription pills to numb her pain. Strong language is also used, including words like "s--t," "f--k," and "hell." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The bleak landscape of Hazel's quiet, small town of Port Dundas provides an eerie vibe to The Calling, and the ominous music adds to the suspense in this crime thriller. Although the serial killer's identity is confirmed midway through the movie, Christopher Heyerdahl's performance as the prophetic yet extremist Simon is best shown in the chilling scenes where he uses his faith to persuade his victims and his alternative medicine in an attempt to heal a young girl.
Sarandon effortlessly portrays a moody alcoholic whose pessimistic disposition often clouds her judgment, leading the audience to believe she may choose to become one of Simon's victims. Those familiar with the Bible will quickly recognize the religious references throughout the movie, and the ambiguous ending allows viewers to question Simon's faith.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.