Mary Kee (Rachelle Lefevre) is an abused wife, and after years of abuse she steps out and starts her new life. First she files for divorce, then a restraining order, before taking herself and her dog off to a new home. It’s not long however before her estranged husband catches up with her, but by then she has other issues. Mary receives a series of phone calls from a woman named Rose, looking for her lover Bobby. Mary soon discovers that Rose is a very unusual caller, she is calling from 1979. At first Mary tolerates Rose, but soon gets very disturbed by Rose’s tone, and discovers that Rose is capable of changing things, by doing things in 1979, the effects can be felt in 2011, those things can be as simple as a picture on a wall, to the ending of someone’s life.
The Caller really surprised me; it was not a film I was particularly interested in seeing at this years Frightfest, its synopsis just never did it for me. Once I started watching it, from the offset there was little to change my view. The Caller has that misty look like a lot of 90’s TV movies had (a look I hate with a passion); it’s also as very gloomy depressing looking movie, even in bright sunlight it’s very dark, all the scenes look like they are taking place after a storm. Of course, in reflection, it's this look that adds to the movies appearance.
The Caller is a great little movie that I could imagine would chill even the most hardened horror fan, if watched alone late at night. It has a great sense of atmosphere about it (partly caused by that dull shooting I mentioned earlier), and an all-round underlying evil that is felt through more or less every single frame of the movie.
The biggest praise for the film should go to Lorna Raver who plays the voice of Rose. Raver is best known as the crazy old lady from Drag Me To Hell, and has a real tone to her voice, one that really unhinges a lot of what is said in the movie. How bizarre that the person you never see can have so much influence on the film.
As the twists in the movie come, they come fast and quick, the events of what Rose is doing back in 1979 really messes with Mary’s life in the present. The wonderful aspect of the movie, is that you really do not expect the effects of Roses actions to be quite so massive, and this is the ultimate praise for the movie. So many bigger budget movies would not have pushed things as far as this did and spent much of the movie hinting at things. It’s a phenomenal piece of chilling storytelling.
To add a little spice to the movies back-story Stephen Moyer (True Blood) who stars as the movies love interest John told MTV news that making the movie was cursed. Apparently he Lefevre and Matthew Parkhill all had bizarre things happen to them, from weird unexplained scratches, to missing pieces of film, and strange phone calls. The movies writer SergioCasci was the most disturbed, and despite seldom being involved with the film as such, experienced a catalogue of bizarre phenomena.
A relative newcomer to movie directing, Matthew Parkhill delivers a real blinder of a movie, an undisputed modern horror classic, which may not be appreciated now, but certainly will in years to come, and for Parkhill one of the directors you really need to watch.