Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: The Caller (2011)

In 1979, phone calls were terrifying. There was no caller id, much less voicemail so when movies like When a Stranger Calls was released in 1979, the phrase, "We've traced the call... it's coming from inside the house" was poop your pants scary. In The Caller, the premise is similar.

Recently divorced Mary (Rachelle Lefevre) moves into a new apartment and begins receiving phone calls on the land line from a woman asking to speak to Bobby. Assuming it is a wrong number, she tells the caller that she just moved into the apartment and that it must be a mistake, but the woman calls back again, and again, and again. Eventually the caller confesses that she has been in love with Bobby, but he hasn't been the same since and he just got back from the war, the Vietnam war. Mary finds this weird, a little too weird.

Mary becomes annoyed as Rose begins to call everyday, sometimes more than once (anyone with a grandma can probably relate), but Rose has ideas of her own and decides to prove to Mary that ignoring her calls is a bad idea. 

When a stranger calls I fart all over myself in fear

What I like about this film is that it doesn't mess around, the strangeness begins within the first 5 minutes of Mary being in the new apartment. What Mary doesn't know is that when she moved into this apartment, she has moved over into a land of both shadow and dark... into an area... we call... the twilight zone.

It's all downhill from here

This film got a limited release, but I don't really see why. It has decent actors, an interesting plot, and a snappy script. The first half of the movie has some great dialog that paints characters quickly. I was also surprised by how creepy it was in parts, the tension really builds with little release as Rose begins to torment Mary. Did I also mention that Stephen Moyer from True Blood is also in this movie. He plays an Italian engineering teacher, which is a bit of a stretch, but refreshingly not that wishy washy Bill from True Blood crap.

Buon Giggalo

I really liked this film. It relies on both psychological and physical terror which makes it genuinely unsettling. Also, I think there are only 2 jump scares in the entire film, which I believe is the exact number of jump scares that fulfill the horror movie formula without going overboard. It was a lot scarier than I expected too, so much in fact, that I had to watch Evil Dead afterward as a palate cleanser, because old ladies scare me a lot more than zombies.

Review: 4/5

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