Saturday, 3 September 2011



There's a certain joy in unearthing a film that's below the radar and finding it to be a little gem, It's your discovery and it falls to you to ensure it's better known. While everyone else was going "meh" over the blockbusters that were hyped to the brink of death before they'd even finished shooting them (hello, Spiderman) or yet more utterly anonymous slasher/torture nonsense, you were off in smaller screens checking out something else you'd never heard of and the gamble paid off. It certainly does with this twisty murder-over-the-years number.

The Caller has Mary (Rachelle Lefevre) fleeing an abusive and violent ex-husband and relocating to Puerto Rico to start a new life. But barely has she moved into the apartment than she starts receiving telephone calls asking for a guy named Bobby, and the woman on the other end won't take Mary's denials seriously. Especially when the caller, a lonely woman named Rose, appears to be calling from the 1970s. Is she a ghost? Is she a time traveller? But when she breaks contact with Rose, Mary's reality becomes physically altered and people start disappearing - and indeed appear to have never even existed....

The despicable ex is perhaps too much of a stereotypical wife-beating bastard: there's no nuance to the character beyond "This Is The Guy We Hate", but that doesn't matter too much. The film's a neat and ingenious, if slightly Doctor Who-ish tangle of paradoxes that more or less works itself out correctly (though I didn't really get the severed finger bit) and rustles up a lot of tension in the film's final confrontation between Mary and Rose - the latter nothing but a voice on the telephone for most of the movie. I really enjoyed it - one of my favourites of this year's FrightFest - but you do need to pay attention to what happens when. Well worth tracking down.


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