The Guilty

Is it still a film if nothing happens on film? The Guilty is tense and exciting but there’s not an awful lot to watch.

The entire film takes place inside an emergency call centre, following Asger – the only named character we ever see – over the course of his evening’s shift. As the evening progresses, one caller’s problem grows to drag Asger – and us – into its details. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s more to this problem than there first appears. This is essentially a thriller told over the phone, whilst simultaneously a character study of the man on the end of the line.

It’s certainly clever. The film makes effective use of what must have been a tiny budget. You really do get gripped by the emotional punch of the crimes unfolding, even though its entirely told by off screen voices. For all that, though, there’s no escaping that not a lot happens. And without giving away any of the twists or turns the plot takes, my main problem was that I wasn’t more surprised by any of it. If you’re going to have quite such a paired back approach to story telling I really do expect the story to take me to somewhere thoroughly unexpected. But it never quite did.

Tense and interesting. But not quite everything it could have been.

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