Babycall (15)

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Kristoffer Joner

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The Independent Culture

Norwegian Pal Sletaune made the wry black comedy Junk Mail in 1997 and then dropped off the UK radar.

Now he's back with a psychological chiller, with Noomi (Dragon Tattoo) Rapace starring as a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She plays a young mother who's taken her eight-year-old son into hiding from her abusive husband. The drab, anonymous block of flats in which they are billetted seems a safe bolthole, but then she starts to hear distressed voices through the baby-monitor in a flat below. Is it all happening again?

The loneliness and paranoia of the tormented eavesdropper strongly recall Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation – like Gene Hackman, Rapace's character doesn't own a phone, which is tantamount to denying your own existence these days – and the mood of neurotic dread builds very persuasively. Kristoffer Joner is touching as a diffident hi-fi salesman drawn into the intrigue.

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