The Caller – DVD Review
By Jeff Swindoll Oct 4, 2011, 15:51 GMT
Ring, ring. Better pick up the phone… maybe not after watching this Twilight Zone inspired thriller. The Caller is a film that takes its low budget and provides genuine chills, especially considering that the villain is a disembodied voice from the past.
Mary Kee (Rachelle Lefevre) is in the middle of a divorce from her controlling husband Steven (Ed Quinn). He’s not too happy that Mary has moved out into a new apartment, but he appears to be even madder that she took the dog with her. Her new apartment is a bit run down and even sports a rotary dial phone.
One night she get a call from a lady named Rose (Lorna Raver) looking for Brian. Mary insists that the number and apartment are not Brian’s but Rose won’t take no for an answer. Mary writes her off as a crank and hangs up on her. She asks the gardener (Luis Guzman) about who lived in the apartment before her, but he feigns forgetfulness.
She goes to a night school class and bumps into handsome teacher John (Stephen Moyer). The high-strung Rose keeps calling and Mary discovers that she is calling from 1979. Certainly a disembodied voice from the past can’t hurt you? Mary finds out otherwise.
The past bleeding into the present is more the plot found on a Twilight Zone episode than a horror thriller, but this movie uses the plot device effectively.
Lorna Raver, seen lately as the horrific gypsy woman in Drag Me to Hell, takes the vocal role and runs with it and provides effective chills as a voice on the phone. We quickly learn that even though we only hear her that she can make Mary’s life a living hell, even from 1979.
I thought the twists and turns were very creative and kept me guessing. Rachelle Lefevre, who was in Twilight or so I’ve heard, plays the character as one who is having troubles of her own with her menacing soon-to-be ex-husband and inadvertently gives advice to the voice on the other end of the phone.
That advice raises back up to haunt her thanks to the unbalanced mind that heeds her advice. There are also some interesting parallels as the abusive husband and the ghostly voice blame Mary for the abuse that they heap upon her.
All the while basically saying, “look what you’ve made me do to you.” Guzman and Moyer provide some good support as characters that unknowingly get wrapped up in the terror. The Puerto Rican setting also adds a nice touch as it seems familiar yet foreign enough to keep us a bit off kilter.
The results start slow but amp up in the end to a hair-raising finale. A nice little film that overcomes any budgetary constraints to provide some goose-bumps.
The Caller is presented in widescreen (1.85:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Special features include 6 minutes of deleted scenes, a 1 minute alternate ending (too obviously trying to set up Caller 2), and 26 minute interview with director Matthew Parkhill.
The Caller could’ve been enough of a wrong number that we’d equate it to a telemarketer, but what we find when we answer the phone is a well-made thriller.
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FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CLuis Guzmán Biography - Stephen Moyer Biography -
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