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Caller, The (DVD Review)

2 Oct, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 10/4/11
Sony Pictures
$26.99 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for some violence/disturbing images, language and a scene of sexuality.
Stars Rachelle Lefevre, Stephen Moyer, Luis Guzmán, Lorna Raver, Ed Quinn.

Puerto Rican thriller The Caller presents an appealing take on a tried storyline considering the cult-like following for lead “vampire” actors Rachelle Lefevre (from the first two “Twilight” films) and Stephen Moyer (“True Blood”).

Lefevre plays Mary, a young twentysomething divorcée who moves into an old courtyard apartment to start anew and put distance between an abusive, controlling ex-husband (Ed Quinn). She enrolls at a local community college to take advanced French and inadvertently meets Moyer, a dopey engineering professor.

Despite being set in the 21st century, Mary’s apartment looks like it’s been mothballed since the ’50s. The walls are lined with dated paper, a basic sink, no dishwasher and a fridge right out of “Leave it to Beaver.” In the center of the unit even sits an old-style rotary phone that rings every time Mary is around.

On the other end is a lonely elderly woman named Rose (voiced by Lorna Raver from Drag Me to Hell) who is looking for an unfaithful boyfriend who used to live in the apartment in the ’70s. In fact, every time Mary is in the apartment, the phone rings, with Rose becoming increasingly more irritated. At the same time, strange things start happening in the unit that channel an Edgar Allen Poe novel — and Mary soon realizes Rose is calling from the past.

It’s here that The Caller could have evolved into some type of horror adaptation of Frequency, but instead just simply implodes as a storyline. Common sense would dictate that Mary could avoid her situation by a) using a cellphone, b) unplugging the phone from the wall (which she does sparingly), c) moving away, or d) letting the phone ring and ring. Good luck going to voicemail.

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