Pastor Robert Peterson tells his congregation to do one thing, but does a different thing at home. Everyone thinks he has it all together, but when a desperate man he once counseled comes back to haunt him, Robert is forced to look at his life in a very uncomfortable way. The man has taken Robert’s son hostage and thus forces Robert to do a series of actions in order to get his son back. Will anyone come out of this dangerous game alive?
Production Quality (1 point)
In a first-time production, it’s probably not a good idea to begin with the suspense genre. It is difficult to pull off suspenseful scenes without taking production shortcuts, like the ones taken in this film. Shaky camera work is one of these shortcuts, as are tight shots and poor lighting throughout. While video quality is fine, the sets and locations are quite limited, probably on purpose. Audio quality is mostly average and the soundtrack is a slight attempt to be interesting, but it falls short. Finally, there is really not much editing to speak of as all content created appears to be included in the final cut. In the end, we could almost pass this production off as a rookie attempt, but the shortcuts taken cannot be ignored.
Plot and Storyline Quality (-1 points)
The mind of Anthony Hackett is difficult to comprehend. Similar to his later work, Love Different, Crisis Call carries an unusual brand or flavor that cannot be replicated. Yet rather than a comedy, this dark thriller is full of bizarre insinuations and asides, as well as strange characters and rambling dialogue. The premise is slightly interesting, yet it is also off-putting and somewhat offensive. There are a lot of dark and brooding elements that offer a lot of hopelessness but not near enough redemption. Though the ending tries to bring some redemption into the picture, it is too little too late. We are not saying that Christian films should not deal with gritty and difficult topics—this is not the case at all. The problem with Crisis Call is that it deals with them in a very incorrect manner, almost as if it is obsessed with being purposely dark. While we definitely need different genre films in Christian entertainment, this is certainly not the way to go about this. The offensive nature of this plot warrants negative points.
Acting Quality (0 points)
In a small cast such as this one, every little errors is amplified. There are not enough positive elements to overcome to negative ones, which include overdone emotions and yelling, as well as many forced and overly practiced lines. The villain actor is far too maniacal and seems to enjoy being creepy. Unfortunately, we cannot award any points here.
Anthony Hackett is certainly not afraid of trying different things. Both of his films are memorable—for all the wrong reasons. If his goal was to get attention and leave a mark, he succeeded. Now he needs to move past his first two efforts and seek to harness his creatively in more constructive ways. Believe it or not, he really does have potential as a film maker, if he has the proper direction and a good team behind him. It should be interesting to see what he comes up with next.
Final Rating: 0 out of 10 points