In 2016, a Sci-fi genre film titled ‘The Call Up’ with a unique storyline emerged as a favorite among audiences. The movie narrates the tale of a group of individuals who share a common hobby—playing online games.
This pastime transcends the casual, as they showcase remarkable skill in various online games. ‘The Call Up’ is not only directed by the renowned sci-fi filmmaker Charles Barker but also features a script penned by him.
Diverging from his previous works, Charles Barker took on both the directorial and scriptwriting responsibilities for ‘The Call Up.’ Adding to its prestige, the film was produced collaboratively by two well-known film production houses—Red & Black and Stigma Films.
The collaborative efforts paid off as ‘The Call Up’ managed to captivate audiences not only in its home country but also across borders. Boasting a cast of top-notch actors and actresses, including Parker Sawyers in a prominent role, the film stands out not just for its star power but also for its compelling narrative.
Parker Sawyers, aside from his striking appearance, delivers an acting performance that leaves no room for doubt. ‘The Call Up’ has garnered attention not just for its stellar cast and renowned director but also for its unconventional storyline, peppered with intriguing puzzles that heighten audience curiosity.
Before delving into the excitement of ‘The Call Up,’ let’s explore a synopsis.
The narrative unfolds with an invitation extended by a renowned online gaming company to several skilled enthusiasts of the virtual realm. These adept players, brought together due to their exceptional gaming prowess, find themselves part of a special group invited to engage in a newly launched online game.
What begins as a thrilling gaming experience takes an unforeseen turn when the virtual game transforms into a stark reality. The game’s system undergoes a mysterious alteration, ensnaring the players within its confines with no means of escape.
Trapped in the game world, the group discovers a chilling truth—exit is only possible by successfully completing the game. Failure to do so results in a grim consequence: their lives are at stake, and death looms over them as an ominous threat.
As they grapple with the challenges presented by the game, the players attempt various strategies to secure their survival. However, not everyone proves resilient in the face of these virtual perils, and the stakes continue to rise as they navigate the treacherous terrain of the game, where each decision holds the potential for life or death. The suspense builds as the characters confront their deepest fears and grapple with the haunting reality that failure could mean the end for them all.
Type of Film: Action, Sci-fi
Director: Charles Barker
Producers: John Giwa-Amu, Matthew James Wilkinson
Writer: Charles Barker
Cast: Max Deacon, Morfydd Clark, Ali Cook, Parker Sawyers, Tom Benedict Knight, Boris Ler, Douggie McMeekin, Adriana Randall, Chris Obi
Production: Red & Black Films, Stigma Films
Distributor: Altitude Film Distribution
Release Date: April 5, 2016 (BIFFF)
Film Duration: 90 minutes
Players and Characters:
- Max Deacon as Carl (Soxx_1)
- Morfydd Clark as Shelly (Mustang67)
- Ali Cook as Edward (Da_Chief)
- Parker Sawyers as Andre (Str8_Shoot3r)
- Tom Benedict Knight as Marco (xxAtla5xx)
- Boris Ler as Zahid (T3rrorist#1)
- Douggie McMeekin as Adam (Reap3r_2000)
- Adriana Randall as Taylor (SlayerGirl)
- Chris Obi as Sergeant
The top eight gamers were sent invitations to test the latest virtual reality game, promising a prize of $100,000. Among them were Soxxx_1 (Carl), Mustang67 (Shelly), Da_Chi3f (Edward), Str8_Shoot3r (Andre), xxAtla5xx (Marco), T3rrorist#1 (Zahid), Reap3r_2000 (Adam), and Slay3rGirl (Taylor).
Upon arrival and a change of clothes, they were scanned by a machine and then directed to wear virtual reality gear. Zahid, a Bosnian Muslim with an ironic username, refused to wear gear bearing the name of a terrorist.
Encountering a locked exit door, Shelly convinced Zahid to play along, understanding the irony of his username. As they donned their helmets, a computer simulation transformed the office space into a devastated city, revealing their mission: Russian terrorists had seized control of every floor in the building.
Their task was to clear each floor, starting from the 25th. Zahid, though relieved that the terrorist was not portrayed as a Muslim, expressed regret at accepting the invitation, contrasting with the others who were content.
In the initial training level, they efficiently dispatched the virtual terrorists, led by Andre, a former soldier. However, when Carl sustained an injury, the VR suit inflicted actual pain. Taylor panicked, claiming to be a substitute for a friend, and Shelly vowed to protect him.
Suspicious of Andre’s military background, Marco accused him of being involved in the game’s design. Disappointed, Andre left the group and was shot by a virtual terrorist. Upon discovering Andre’s lifeless body, the group realized that the VR helmets were programmed to deliver a lethal shock when their characters died in the game.
Zahid implored Carl to destroy his helmet, but he struggled to remove it. Before they could take off the helmets, the sergeant entered the room, assaulted Zahid, and warned them of the challenges they were about to face. With no alternative, they had to progress to the next level.
In an attempt to escape, Zahid and Carl tried to break a window, but the sergeant reappeared, breaking Zahid’s leg. He cautioned that any further resistance would lead to death. Realizing the others could not overpower the sergeant, Zahid decided to stay behind while the rest continued.
As the players cleared several floors, Taylor separated from the group and hid in the bathroom. Forced to defend himself, he killed a virtual terrorist, gaining newfound confidence.
On the 9th floor, Serson revealed that the captured virtual terrorist possessed crucial information and instructed them to torture him for it. Edward volunteered and, after electrocuting the virtual terrorist, extracted the password.
When Adam input the password into the computer, it triggered a bomb in the basement set to explode in 30 minutes. Marco became aggressive toward Adam, blaming him for worsening the situation.
What fate awaited them? The conclusion unfolded as you watched the film “The Call Up” on your favorite screen.