One Missed Call is a 2008 movie with a cast unknown to me, but a screenplay written by that very accomplished thriller merchant Andrew Klavan. The film is, in fact, a re-make of a successful Japanese movie of a few years earlier called Chakushin Ari.
The premise is gripping. A young woman called Beth is terrified by the deaths of a group of friends, all of whom suffer unpleasant fates after receiving phone calls, apparently from themselves in the future, showing the precise times of their demise. Beth’s attempts to convince a senior police woman of the connection between the fatalities get nowhere (bizarrely) but a detective whose sister has died in similar circumstances is more willing to listen.
From that point, it has to be said, the plot descends into horror-hokum. We aren’t talking Alfred Hitchcock or Claude Chabrol here. There’s something slick and superficial about the way the story unfolds – we’ve been here a good many times before. It isn’t a truly sophisticated genre.
Nevertheless, the pace and confidence of the script is a reminder of Klavan's expertise. These qualities carry the viewer along, without the need to delve too deeply into character or motive. I found the movie entertained me satisfactorily on an evening when I was more than ready for a bit of mindless time-passing.