Friday, June 22, 2012

Netflix Treasures: "The Caller"

Netflix always has something interesting to offer if you're willing to look for it. However, some people don't have time to sift through the garbage like Chop Kick Panda and need someone to point them to films worth putting in your queue. Of course I am only one person, with one opinion, and I can't promise that every film I review here will be to your liking. However, I do encourage you at least take a look at the films I recommend here because you may be surprised.

Today, I have an interesting little horror/thriller titled "The Caller."

To start off I will say that what this film lacks in interesting characters it makes up with a rather interesting plot. It's interesting and horrifying in a new and unique way that makes The Caller worth watching. The plot is fairly simple. A young woman named Mary Kee (Rachelle Lefevre) has moved into a new apartment in the wake of a destructive divorce with her abusive husband (played by Eureka's Ed Quinn sans beard). After she purchases an old telephone she begins to get calls from a woman named Rose. After constantly insisting that Rose has the wrong number the two form a sort of friendship and begin to talk about their problems. However, things begin to take a turn for the weird when Mary learns that Rose is calling from 30 years in the past which Mary shakes off as someone pranking her.

This is where things seem to devolve into a more cheesier version of the Dennis Quaid film Frequency (which I actually like), however, things do pick up as the story progresses. When Mary's conversations with Rose turn dark Mary tries to distance herself from Rose and ends up forming a relationship with a man named John (played by True Blood's Stephen Moyer). As this goes on it becomes increasingly clear that, hoax or not, Rose is becoming a serious threat to Mary and then it turns out that Rose may be telling the truth about calling from the past. The first signs begin to show when Mary discovers new markings and changes in her apartment that weren't there before. Then, as Rose slips further into madness she begins to prey upon the people Mary cares for, in the past.

This is where the horror of the film really shines. While the time travel logic is more "timey wimey" and less Primer, it is easy to follow and definitely adds a new twist to time travel that is truly terrifying. As Rose preys upon the past versions of Mary and those she cares for, with Mary being completely powerless to do anything as she watches her friends get erased from from history. It's what makes The Caller a standout in a stale genre. It provides an interesting and new idea that is genuinely scary. It's not the idea of someone attacking you from the past that is scary, it's being unable to stop them that inspires fear. It's that fear that makes The Caller something above the dime-a-dozen supernatural thriller films out there.

It's definitely worth a watch, if not because you find the idea of someone hunting you in the past scary, then for a rather entertaining thriller movie that can kill a couple hours. I definitely recommend it.

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