Parents' Guide to

Calls

By Marina Gordon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Chilling series relies on imagination for violent visuals.

TV Apple TV+ Drama 2021
Calls Poster Image

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A TV show that doesn't show you what's happening turns out to be surprisingly effective for horrific stories because your imagination fills in the visual blanks in this tautly written limited series. Based on the French series of the same name, Calls, from Fede Álvarez (Don't Breathe), connects you to each story quickly using text to disclose the location and who's on the call. Each call is a gripping 15- to 20-minute standalone story, but if you make it to the end of the nine episodes that are thematically similar, a mystery is solved.

Though you could just listen to episodes as you would a radio or podcast series, the abstract, colorful, dynamic visuals complement the dialogue as music might. As Calls was released a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be easy to assume the production was a coronavirus compromise. Apparently, though, it was always intended to be a picture-free show, a uniquely unsettling premise that happened to coincide with a uniquely unsettling time.

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