The Caller (2011) – Review

2 Stars

The Caller plays like a made for television movie most comfortable on the Chiller channel. The plot is fairly intriguing, Mary, played by Rachelle Lefevre, gets a phone call from the past with a crazy lady on the other end of the line. The stakes are upped once the insane lady realizes that she can affect the future, and she wants nothing more than to be Mary’s friend (more like her bff). Mary tries to play it off, but as the woman intrudes on her past life causing ripples in Mary’s present life she must act to stop her.

While the idea is interesting, the execution is anything but. Going along with what seems to be popular nowadays we have an incredibly long first act with the movie ramping up at the forty minute mark. Basically you can skim between the ten minute mark and forty minute mark if you like. There’s never a true feeling of terror in the film let alone mild alarm. Scenes play out with characters talking or simply engaging in an activity that wouldn’t normally be considered thrilling, and if not for the music and grungy looking surroundings you’d never think to interpret them in that manor.

Since this movie revolves around time being rewritten we have all the same elemental problems as any movie with a time loop. The rules are spelled out fairly straight forward, but I’ve always found that these plot devices bring up more questions than they successfully answer. The other aspects of Mary’s life (i.e. her ex-husband) overshadow the rip in the time-space continuum through her old rotary phone throughout the beginning of the movie. That extra weight never pays off, until the end, which is so callable it’s ridiculous. Also, do the math on the ages at the end and tell me if the last The Shining inspired sequence seems plausible or not.

The Caller is competently shot with the acting being the only strong point in the film, unfortunately the actors are given little to do most of the time. Pass on this, unless you’d like something slightly scary that’s guaranteed not to frighten (hey, some people do).

Director: Matthew Parkhill
Stars: Stephen Moyer, Rachelle Lefevre, Luis Guzman

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