EIFF 2011 - THE CALLER Review

[This is a reprint of a review first published at BlogCritics.org]

The Caller is a classic example of a film with a great premise that it doesn't know what to do with once it has been introduced. Piling ridiculous plot point on ridiculous point as the film goes on, the whole thing sits on the wrong side of silly, ending up completely ridiculous and sometimes flat-out laughable.


Drawing obvious influence from J-Horrors like Miike Takashi's One Missed Call and Hideo Nakata's RinguThe Caller follows Mary (Rachelle LeFevre), a young woman going through a bad divorce, as she moves into a new apartment. She soon gets a mysterious phone call from an older woman who (as we find out early on) claims to be calling from the 1970s while Mary is in the present day.


That plotline alone is enough to warrant a viewing of The Caller. But the trouble is that it's a novelty idea with an expiration date and as soon as that runs out (which is pretty damn fast) things start to get either boring or completely ludicrous.


The latter is more often the case here which, admittedly, might make for some morbid sense of fun and curiosity as to how far it's going to go. But objectively this is just bad storytelling, with stilted dialogue and (mostly) bad acting. LeFevre (probably most known for playing the vengeful Victoria in the first two Twilight movies before randomly being replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard for the third) makes for a bland, uninteresting "heroin" here who spends most of the movie picking up and putting down phones, as well as staring into the eyes of Stephen Moyer. Speaking of him, as much as I am a fan of his work on HBO's True Blood, his fake American accent is a distraction to say the least. Only the great character actor Luis Guzman comes out unscathed.


You can just tell the basic premise of The Caller is one of those "Wouldn't it be cool if...?" ideas that is interesting for the first little while but quickly runs out of steam. After the initial novelty wears off the film proceeds to build the level of absurdity with stupid twists and turns which are enough to make you give up hope in this type of film. This is about as preposterous and nonsensical as supernatural horror/thrillers come.


NOTE - The trailer below gives away a lot of the film's plot so if you're at all interested in seeing the film you might want to give the trailer a miss.

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