The Caller, Time Traveling Telephone

The Caller

From what I’ve seen, The Caller is the only horror movie I know of that implements temporal anomalies in a clever way. Though it incorporates horror elements, it seems like more of a slow-paced quasi-psychological thriller than a scary movie. You encounter some lovely scenes where events in the past immediately shape the present/future, which are the high points of the film. That, and when the main character’s ex-husband comes over and tries to mark his territory. They may seem different, but they come together in the end and really flip the psychological switch.

Mary Kee is the main character, and she’s recently moved into a crappy apartment to escape her ex-husband to be. Very early on, she is called by an older woman named Rose, who is asking for Bobby. As it is a horror movie, watchers may wonder just who or what Bobby is. Is he a ghost haunting the apartment? A stalker? A squatter? As the calls go on, however, Mary discovers that Rose believes she is calling from the past; the 1970s, to be specific. Bobby is her abusive husband.

The CallerMary is very skeptical, making an extreme effort to stop the calls, only to receive proof that there is some temporal anomaly taking place. The more proof Rose offers, the more insane her behavior becomes. She murders Bobby and builds a wall to hide him, a wall that shows up in Mary’s own apartment. At that point, Mary tries to cut off contact altogether while seeking information about Rose herself.

According to her landlord, Rose is dead. She had hung herself several years earlier. The dead time-traveling old lady doesn’t take too kindly to being ignored, though, not with such a good friend to give her life reason. She begins picking off people in Mary’s present, spontaneously altering reality to match her actions in the present/past. In fact, she even sends her surviving future self to meet Mary after a particularly unpleasant encounter. But that’s the conclusion, so you go figure out how it ends.

On the excite-o-meter, I’d rank The Caller moderate-dull. Everything between the time-traveling bits and abusive ex-husband gambit is uninteresting. I read that this film began as a 30-45 minute short, and I’m inclined to say it should have stayed that way. Further reading on the movie would reveal that all the phone call scenes were done real-time, and most of them were improvised. Still boring. What a bummer.

The CallerMichael Gingold of Fangoria reveals that several of the main actors are plucked from some vampire series called True Blood. I’m not sure if that’s relevant to you or not, but it could be nice to see one of your (“your” in a general sense) favorite fanged actor/actress. Otherwise, this alt-review is rather positive. Take a peek: