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EIFF 2011 Movie Review: The Caller

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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.

The Caller EIFF 2011 movie review imageDrawing obvious influence from the likes of J-Horrors such as One Missed Call and RingThe Caller follows a young woman, Mary (Rachelle LeFevre), who moves into a new apartment. Soon after she gets a mysterious phone call from a woman who, as we find out early on, is actually 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 in 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 the genre. This is about as preposterous and nonsensical as supernatural horror/thrillers come.

 

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