Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Caller (2011)

Fear 3/5
Gore 0/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 4/5

Confession time: I originally wrote this film off based off of the trailer, premise, and the heavy use of a rotary phone as plot device. I mean who the hell uses one anymore anyways? Well I needed a bit of a nudge by our Twitter followers to give it a fair shake and the film recently became available via Netflix instant. So I checked it out and boy was I wrong. This is a fantastic Twilight Zone-esque spooker that has the feel of that series and it's one of the more unique horror films I've had the pleasure of watching this year.

Mary is recently divorced and in need of a new place to live and fast. Not really having time to scope out the area as she needs to get away from her abusive husband, she settles for an old apartment in the barrio. Quite literally as there are an interesting cast of characters who call the building home.

It's not long after she settles in that she starts receiving phone calls on said rotary phone that was left behind. At first, Mary believes the woman has simply reached the wrong number as she asks for a man who isn't there. But after subsequent calls and an insistence that the man lives there and that he is expecting the female caller, Mary gets a bit concerned.

During the day, she makes friends with a tenant who takes care of most of the landscaping around the complex. By night, she goes to school and becomes enamored with a male physics teacher who's teaching in a classroom nearby. They strike up a friendship and start to spend time together despite the disapproval of her now ex- husband who still thinks he has a stranglehold on her.

Her is where things begin to enter Twilight Zone territory: after one particular conversation in which the woman (who now has identified herself as being a prior tenant and living in the year 1979), Mary encourages her to 'take care' of her problem. You see the old woman on the other end has an abusive and cheating husband herself and she isn't going to stand for it anymore. But instead of leaving, the woman takes far more drastic measures and Mary is horrified at what she tells her.

The remainder of our film becomes a real mind bender as Mary, her physics teacher, and our caller piece all the puzzles together and the film twists and turns as realities are changed and ultimately intersect. It's a brilliant play on age old story of altering time and realities. And Mary comes face to face with our previously faceless caller. The scene will send chills up your spin.

Well kiddies, there is a lesson here: don't judge a book by its cover. Yes the rotary phone device is a bit silly but it actually plays well to the story and Mary's surroundings (i.e. old run down apartment building). Check this one out via Netflix instant. You'll be glad you did.

Cortez the Killer


EerieErik (Drunketh) said...

I personally enjoyed the hell out of this one.

The Film Connoisseur said...

They filmed this one in my country (Puerto Rico) but I havent given it a chance, I think I will now! Thanks for the review.

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Planet of Terror said...

@Eerie Erik, indeed, it's an enjoyable film which will keep you riveted throughout.

@TFC, definitely check this one out. I think you'll dig it.

@Best for Halloween, stop spamming my blog, asshole!!!

Christine Hadden said...

I screened this one several months ago and was pleasantly surprised. Initially I wanted to see it for the Stephen Moyer factor, but was thrilled that it was such a brooding, creepy film.
Glad you liked it as well!

Planet of Terror said...

Moyer's performance was really restrained which was good because it could have easily derailed things. The love scene was a little Lifetime Movie of the Week-ish. But overall, he was solid.