August 25, 2011

Filthy Review - The Caller

The Caller (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

Phones have frequently featured in Asian genre movies over the past decade or so, with missed calls and other such horrors plaguing the victims. Now we have a new US entry, by way of Puerto Rico, which looks to put the spook-factor back into this seemingly harmless household item, because we aren’t talking cellphones here.

Mary (Twilight’s Rachelle Lefevre) is in the process of settling into a new apartment after the collapse of her marriage. The divorce proceedings from her ex-husband (Ed Quinn) are still hanging over her head, and he’s not about to make life easy for Mary. On top of this she starts to get strange phone-calls. The calls are from a lady who keeps asking after a previous tenant. At first Mary puts the calls down to a mistake, but over the course of time it becomes quite clear that something isn’t quite right about these calls.

The Caller does a good job of keeping us, the viewers, guessing as to what is going on throughout. This is due to director Matthew Parkhill’s clever pacing, which is more of the slow-burn type, and potential clues here and there in the writing. Assisting in this are Mary’s potential new boyfriend John and apartment super George (Luis Guzman), who may or may not know what is going on.

It’s a movie that is kept taut and focused when it is dealing with the caller of the title, and the events that relate to these calls. It’s when the movie veers away from this that it suffers a little. For example: Mary wandering into the wrong classroom at college just to set up the love interest. Also Mary’s ex-husband is almost the cartoonish villain of the piece. Granted Quinn plays the part well, but sometimes his scenes come across as a little unnecessary.

Overall though The Caller is a solid movie for the most part, it manages to be unsettling in places especially in the latter third, and as mentioned it does keep you guessing. Also working in its favor are the strengths of the cast, cartoon villains aside. Guzman is as dependable as ever and Lefevre puts in a really good performance as the troubled Mary.

The Caller is worth checking out for fans of Asian style horror or if you are just looking for a genre flick that is a little different from the run of the mill.

The Caller hits select theaters on August 26th through Samuel Goldwyn Films

1 comment:

Mac Campbell said...

I will always still remember, "Have you checked the children?"