Within the first few seconds of the trailer for The Calling, we are treated to the visual of two dogs eating what appears to be human remains. Welcome to small-town Canada!
Detective Inspector Hazel Miscallef (Susan Sarandon) lives a quiet life with her aging mother (Ellen Burstyn) in Fort Dundas, Ontario. Miscallef drinks for the wrong reasons and pops painkillers liberally, but her life is mostly under control — until a routine call leads to a gruesome discovery: the murdered and mangled body of an elderly woman. The interim commanding officer and her investigating team discover reports of similarly brutal murders in rural areas across the country and connect the dots: they are dealing with a serial killer.
In The Calling, the serial killer has a very clear motivation — he needs 12 victims to perform a prayer of resurrection. All of the victims’ mouths have been manipulated to speak sacred words in Latin. “I will have to cleanse you of your transgression,” we hear the murderer tell a woman who is surely his next victim. There is of course a lot of religious imagery in the trailer (Donald Sutherland is featured as a priest), and a fair bit of blood. There have been nine victims, and the murderer needs three more to finish the prayer, so it’s up to Miscallef and her team to stop him.
Sarandon most recently appeared in the Melissa McCarthy vehicle Tammy, and her upcoming work includes voicing a character in the animated movie (Hell & Back) and a multi-perspective film about the motherhood (Mothers Day). It’s nice to see her working in diverse genres in such a short span.
The Calling is an adaptation of Inger Ash Wolfe’s novel of the same name. It will open August 29.