Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • TBC
  • Drama, Thriller
  • 2011




A traumatized single mum (Noomi Rapace) goes into witness protection with her 8-year-old son in this paranoid Norwegian thriller from writer-director Pal Sletaune.


Following a brief Hollywood jaunt with Sherlock Holmes, Noomi 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Rapace is back in Scandinavian territory, once again playing a young woman with mental health problems who's been let down by the system that's supposed to protect her.

She's Anna, a young mum forced into hiding with her 8-year-old son, Anders, ostensibly to escape an abusive husband. But all is not what it seems. Anna suffers from hallucinations and black-outs and her grasp on reality is loosening fast. Terrified of her sexually-aggressive child welfare officer, her only friend is a mild-mannered shop attendant (Kristoffer Joner) who she meets while buying a baby monitor (the 'babycall' of the title) to keep tabs on Anders.

The film starts out as a straight-up psychological thriller but gradually morphs into something more complex and weird. The latter half of the plot is littered with red herrings. Every time you think you've got it sussed, it shifts again, and not always for the better - the ending is so convoluted and far-fetched that it undoes a lot of the good work in the first half.

A gently unsettling string score and greeny-blue Nordic filters help to preserve the menacing tone when the story falls short but it's Rapace's nervily-nuanced performance that carries the film. She compels us to sympathise with Anna, for all her weaknesses, and watching her mental decline is a painful and frustrating experience. Where Dragon Tattoo's Lisbeth Salander has a Taser and an intricate knowledge of computer hacking to wreak revenge on those who have wronged her, Anna has nothing to fall back on except her obsessive love for her son. What's ultimately most upsetting about this film is that Anna's situation is the more true to life.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Noomi Rapace
  • Director: Pål Sletaune
  • Screen Writer: Pål Sletaune

In a nutshell

Part disturbing study of vulnerability, part twisty-turny decoy fest, Babycall gets a bit too ensnared in its own web of intrigue.

by Rebecca Davies

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4


    Katell Quillévéré's family-based drama follows Suzanne, a teenage mother who falls for a gangster

  • Film4

    The Purge

    Ethan Hawke stars in James DeMonaco's drama about a sanctioned night where all crime is legal

  • Film4

    Me and You on Film4

    Premiere of Bernardo Bertoluccis drama about a boy and his half-sister who run away together.

  • Film4

    Philadelphia on Film4

    Denzel Washington and Oscar-winning Tom Hanks star in Jonathan Demme's powerful drama.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    BIFA brings 2015 nominated films to cinemas

    BIFA-nominated films including the Film4-backed 45 Years, The Lobster, Macbeth, Amy and Ex Machina will be available in cinemas nationwide from 23 November in a special public screenings event. The

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Film4-backed films receive 41 nominations at the BIFAs

    Film4 has received a total of 41 nominations for the films it has backed at this year¿s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), with the nomination lists for the Best British Film and Best Director a

Register with

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register