'The Caller' Movie Review

The Caller Movie Cover
by Michael Pickle, MoreHorror.com

Coming to a ridiculously select amount of theaters on August 26th 2011 from Samuel Goldwyn Films is THE CALLER starring Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight) and Stephen Moyer (True Blood). The casting may sound like a gimmick, but this is not a supernatural tween drama trying to capitalize on the popularity of it's stars. Director Matthew Parkhill's charming and downright flawless horror thriller is just the opposite. Despite its limited engagement announcements, this is a film with authentic style and a keen sense of foreboding excitement and organic storytelling that has become all too rare in modern horror cinema.

Mary Kee (Lefervre) is a beautiful young woman who moves into a new apartment while going through a nasty divorce from an abusive husband so persistent that she has to get a restraining order. Mary's situation, already dripping with tension, gets even more grim when she starts receiving mysterious and disconcerting phone calls from a lonely and troubled older woman named Rose (Lorna Raver) who used to live in her apartment.

Rose seems a little creepy and incessant, but finally bonds with Mary over horrible husbands. Things go from strange to WTF when Rose reveals that she's calling from the past. And she can prove it. The ways she proves it get more inventive and sinister as the story unfolds and Mary is terrorized for trying to cut off communication with the increasingly threatening voice on the other line.

Meanwhile, Mary meets John (Stephen Moyer). A handsome night school teacher who likes her and tries to help her get answers. Their budding romance is put to the test by relentless unwanted visits from Mary's husband and the growing menace from the vengeful and ominous caller who threatens to destroy everything she holds dear.

THE CALLER is one of the more satisfyingly creepy, inventive, well made and suspenseful horror film experiences I have had in recent years. There are some horror and suspense thriller staples here, but that doesn't take away from the magic. The phone calls from a killer, a beautiful woman whose past comes back to haunt her, a new place that holds deadly secrets. It's all been done before, but in The Caller, these staples are woven through many other layers to make this film a must see for any self respecting horror fan.

The Caller Movie Still

The unique look of the film gives it it's sense of style. Everything looks almost gloomy giving it a moody atmosphere, but somehow there are these vibrant colors that still stand out. This distinct look is perfectly complimented by a killer musical score. The music fits the scenes and the atmosphere so well that it varies from being an unnoticeable accent to a driving force for the horror and suspense. This provides a steadily building tension throughout.

The acting is phenomenal from everyone involved. Luis Guzman stands out as the friendly neighbor who knows more than he's letting on. The abusive husband (Ed Quinn), the dashing new lover (Moyer), the wicked and chilling caller herself (Raver). Every character carries their part of the film like they knew they were a part of something special. Especially Rachelle Lefevre who turns in such a memorable performance that she makes the outrageous premise feel hauntingly believable.

This is not a blood drenched, gore-filled horror ride. It's a tightly woven, sometimes subtle, always entertaining psychological thriller. What sets it apart is: When someone has a nightmare, it feels like a nightmare without having to be obvious. Real life tension is mixed with the fantastical seamlessly to make the supernatural feel natural. If the more intense horror elements seem out of place it's because there are not a whole lot of straight up horror films out there these days that offer so many subtle pleasures as well as cleverly executing a high concept premise that is anything but subtle.

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