Wednesday, October 10, 2012
A woman moves into an apartment, alone, after leaving her abusive husband. She begins receiving bizarre calls from a seemingly emotionally unstable woman named Rose. Weirder, Rose seems to be calling from 30 years in the past, living in the same apartment. The things she tells Rose actually can change the past/her present. And when our heroine hurts Rose's feelings, Rose begins to use her unique position to wreak some havoc.
The premise of The Caller seems like a great setup for a Twilight Zone episode, but one of the things I enjoyed most about it was the way it wasn't just a quiet little creepy flick with a clever twist ending. Instead, it uses the premise to go way dark. Rose goes a lot further than you might expect in getting her revenge. She starts by burying corpses in the walls, and it gets sicker from there. And, of course there's the fact that the heroine lived in the same town as Rose when she was a little girl...
The time travel gimmicks are ingenious without feeling overly gimmicky. The rules are clearly established (maybe overexplained) and I don't think the film ever cheats. I was expecting some sort of deus ex machina or some way that the heroine would game the system to erase all the damage Rose has done, but instead the film doesn't pull any punches and ends on a wonderfully darkly comedic note.
My only major complaint with the film was its almost comically overbearing score and sound design. Ever small action is emphasized with a musical sting, and whenever the moody score isn't playing, the soundtrack is filled with low rumblings and strange noises. It grows very distracting after a while.
Other, this movie is pretty awesome. It's a lot of fun, filled with strong performances and uses the time travel conceit to come up with some creepy ideas and clever set pieces. One of my favorites so far this month.