Friday, August 19, 2011

The Caller and Terrifying Chills: A Movie Review

*full disclosure: a screener of this film was provided by Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Director: Matthew Parkhill.

Writer: Sergio Casci.

The Caller is the latest thriller to be distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films. This film stars Rachelle Lefevre, Stephen Moyer and Luis Guzman, in a small but terrifying film. Lefevre plays Mary Kee, a woman terrorized by a prank caller from the past. Soon, this reviewer was terrorized by every creeping shadow and knock in the hall. The Caller will be in theatres August 26th and this critic would encourage you to bravely step outside your house to see one of the craziest psychopaths in film history.

The film begins with Mary Kee settling her divorce with an arrogant ex (Ed Quinn). A restraining order issued by the judge foretells future conflict between Mary Kee and Steve. However, there is more than one stalker in Mary's life, as a fourty-one year old woman promises oil baths and vivisection. This reviewer's spine began to experience chills at this point. Then, bodies turn up and Mary's life is turned into one of dysfunction, as this caller, from the past, chops up many of her friends.

Steve, the ex-husband, plays a secondary villain, who takes stalking to new heights. He is often seen on the periphery of the camera shot, looking lost and sometimes menacing. He seems to pop over to Mary's house at the most inopportune times for a late snack or a television episode. Meanwhile, Mary is often oblivious to his strange comings and goings. Steve is well acted by Quinn, but this character is secondary to the rising tension created by Rose, the strange caller.

Through some kind of rip in the space-time-continuum (thanks "Star Trek"), Rose is able to call Mary in the future. Rose inhabits 1979, where she likes to dissect apartment managers and young boys on the street, while still finding time to terrorize Mary. This reviewer will now see senior citizens only as the psychopaths portrayed in this film for at least a week. Yet, Rose does not keep her torment strictly to the telephone. Instead, she brings her machete and morbid personality to the present and into Mary's home, for a final mujer-a-mujer showdown.

Spoilers will be avoided, so that horror and thriller fans can see this film and its terror in person. The Caller is really an entertaining horror ride, mostly because of its villains. However, Lefevre, as Mary, pulls off some excellent expressions late in the picture. In the end, The Caller is a tense movie watching experience, which shows how the psychopaths of the past can affect the characters of the present e.g. this critic.

Directing/staging of action/realistic: 6.5 (nothing out of the ordinary, outside of a few camera angles from the p.o.v. of the stalker).
Writing/story/plot: 8 (interesting and unique, but the forgetfulness of the characters is reminiscent of the film Forget Me Not).
Characters/individuals/interaction: 7.5 (the characters are enjoyable, Lefevre seemed a little subdued, Quinn is menacing and Guzman is always good).

Overall: 7.3 out of 10 (recommended, enjoyed and now haunted).

More from Samuel Goldwyn Films:

The Samuel Goldwyn Films' Website

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