The Call

Composed By: John Debney

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the thriller film The Call, Halle Berry stars as Jordan Turner, a veteran LAPD 911 operator haunted by her one mistake on the job.  After receiving a call from a teenager (Evie Thompson) being attacked in her home by a serial killer (Michael Eklund), Jordan gives the teenager sound advice that allows her to evade the killer.  Unfortunately, when Jordan calls the girl back on her cellphone to check on her welfare, she accidentally alerts the killer to the girl's location and she is murdered.  Six months later, Jordan is training a 911 operator when a call comes through from a teenager (Abigail Breslin) who has been kidnapped and the demons from Jordan's past spur her into action above and beyond the call of duty.

                The musical score of The Call was created by American composer John Debney.  The son of Disney Studios producer Louis Debney, John Debney seemed poised for a career in Hollywood.  But, judging from his history, it was clear very early in his life that John Debney would not exactly be following in his father's footsteps.  Receiving guitar lessons at the age of six and playing in numerous rock bands in college, Debney was introduced to scoring by legendary television composers Mike Post and Hoyt Curtin.  He began his scoring career in the television medium, creating musical scores for Sea Quest DSV, Star Trek: The Next Generation and A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.  His first foray into film composition was the movie Hocus Pocus.  Since then, Debney has created musical scores for numerous well known films, including The Passion of Christ, Hatfields and McCoys, Raising Helen, Spy Kids, Elf and more.

                For The Call, John Debney decided that the movie content deserved a musical score different from any other he had created: " I wanted to create a visceral, nasty electronic score for this intense film...This was new-ish territory for me but I absolutely relished the adventure."  The resulting score is a mix of horror and action music.  The electronic score is often exciting and palpable like music created by The Chemical Brothers (whose works have appeared on the soundtracks of Mortal Kombat, XXX, Black Swan, Hanna and more) and The Crystal Method (whose works have been a part of Third Watch, Bones, Species, Roswell and more).  The music is designed to keep the listener amped and on edge.  There are also elements of horror featuring periods of quiet music followed by bursts of electronic sound that make the listener jump.

                I loved the action sound of The Call Soundtrack and enjoyed the mix of electronic sound in the midst of the score, like the heartbeat found in one track, or the swishing, knife sharpening sound of A Gentle Scalping or the sound resembling a gasp for air in Drowning Jordan.  I also enjoyed the fast, edge-of-your-seat pace of many of the tracks.  I had a problem with only one track - Freeway Chase didn't seem like much of a chase until the pace of the music changed drastically six minutes into the track. 

                Other than that, I would definitely recommend checking out The Call Soundtrack.  John Debney definitely moved in the right direction when he stepped outside his comfort zone to create the score of this film.


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