Edinburgh International Film Festival

The Caller (2011)

Starring: Rachelle LeFever, Stephen Moyer, Lorna Raver, Luis Guzmán, Ed Quinn

Directed by: Matthew Parkhill

Rating: 1 2 3 4

Rachelle LeFevre as Mary Kee in the dark horror thriller The Caller

At a Q&A following the second UK showing of The Caller, the film's screenplay writer Sergio Casci admits that, as a horror fan, you spend most of your time watching rubbish movies, in search of the few gems you like. Fortunately, his film falls firmly into the latter category.

When fragile divorcee Mary Kee (Twilight's Rachelle LeFevre) moves into a new apartment, she starts receiving nuisance phone calls of a very unusual nature. Her mysterious caller, an increasingly menacing woman called Rose (played by Drag Me To Hell's Lorna Raver, so you know it ain't gonna be good) she at first assumes her aggressive, abusive husband (Ed Quinn) is behind the plot to harass and frighten her. But alarmingly, ghoulish evidence soon confirms that Rose is not just a crossed line, she's a crossed soul calling from the past – and as such, wields terrifying power over Mary's present.

Unless, of course, Mary is simply going bonkers – I'll leave you to make your own messed up mind about that one.

Dark, genuinely creepy and unsettling, The Caller sets your pulse racing and makes the hairs on the back of your neck prickle like a hedgehog. Redolent of quality horror films from the past, it melds the gothic claustrophobia of Rosemary's Baby with the stalkery scariness of Fatal Attraction and the frantic, nerve-shredding finale of The Shining, while its stripped down, Puerto Rican setting lends it a timeless air – and also excuses the lack of convenient modern technology. (I mean, seriously, a Bakelite phone? But blimey, that squat, black, ugly monster gives you the heebie-jeebies!)

If you like horror movies that make you think while freaking you out, this is definitely one to watch out for – think Repulsion meets The Butterfly Effect. If nothing else, it'll make you think twice about answering that phone... It's for you...

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