When you look at the main ingredients of The Caller you start to get a sense of trepidation. The leads are played by a woman well-known to Twilight fans and a man well-known to True Blood fans, it centres around that classic mystery phone call scenario and it was expanded and developed from a short film made over ten years ago. Overcome that trepidation, however, and you will be rewarded with one of the better modern horrors of recent years.
Mary (Rachel LeFevre) is recently divorced but has ongoing problems with her ex (Ed Quinn) being a bit of a possessive stalker. She’s trying to get on with her life and enjoy some deserved peace but that’s all thrown out the window when she starts receiving calls from a lonely woman named Rose (Lorna Raver). Rose seems a bit mad but also a bit sad and Mary eventually sympathises with the woman. Then the unbelievable reality of the situation and Mary struggles to find a way to cut off communication with her. Even the new man in her life (Stephen Moyer) is unable to help. And that ex is still hanging around, does he have anything to do with the phone caller?
Written by Sergio Casci, and directed by Matthew Parkhill, The Caller starts unassumingly enough and builds and builds into something quite impressive for a genre outing. There’s a lot of familiarity there (many horror staples and even the movie Frequency spring to mind) but also a nice smattering of originality throughout.
The movie stays within its own built-up logic and, impressively, never takes the easy way out, even as things turn darker and darker. It also nicely mixes the supernatural aspect with the real horror of Mary trying to keep her ex at bay.
The acting from all involved is actually very good, with realistic performances from all involved and a nice supporting role for the great Luis Guzman. As the situation clarifies and becomes more overtly supernatural the film somehow manages to retain a believable core, despite it’s fantastical premise (that is never really explained, another impressive point).
Overall, The Caller does everything quietly and effectively and develops into one of the more surprising, and enjoyable, horror outings of late.
DIRECTOR: MATTHEW PARKHILL
STARS: RACHEL LEFEVRE, STEPHEN MOYER, ED QUINN, LUIS GUZMAN, LORNA RAVER
RUNTIME: 91 MINS APPROX
COUNTRY: PUERTO RICO