Attention to detail is everything, there’s subtle audio and visuals to build tension from the beginning in this unusually leisurely thriller following a resolute girl Izzy (Sarah Elizabeth Marks) housesitting for her uncle and working from home as a call centre operative whilst there.
During a night of varied irregular calls, there’s also the desperate or confused, an array of unusual customers Izzy professionally resolves whilst exchanging pleasantries and enjoying a sneaky glass of wine during her long shift.
One particular caller is extremely atypical when discussing his problem to Izzy before the conversation escalates to harassment when threats are made. Izzy hangs up. Izzy drinks more.
Continuing to work the night away the angry caller is back on the line, he is also on the way to her isolated location.
It may be obvious of limitations due to a shoestring budget, but a lot is accomplished. It helps that terrifying when he wants to be, legendary Eric Roberts (Runaway Train, Poe of Greenwich Village, Love is a Gun) is the creepy voice on the phone. Reactions and solid acting from remarkable Sarah Alexandra Marks, performing solo throughout is genuine.
There’s tension, great trepidation from Izzy when her stalker may actually be on the premises, this is where courage kicks in. Marks was a memorable victim (similar in some aspects to Drew Barrymore in Scream, (1996) in the opening scene of creature feature, Crocodile Vengeance aka. Croc (2022) her talent is clear and career will eventually surge.
Watch The Caller, psychological factors of the plot are not overdoing it with unconventional side stories, the filmmakers have used the location and circumstances to their best effect helping the eerie premise perfectly.
Turn off the lights and enjoy.
The next time you answer the phone, prey it’s not the sound of Eric Roberts passive aggressively on the other end.
Horror, Thriller | USA, 2023 | 15 | Digital HD | 23rd October 2023 (UK) | Central City Media | Dir. Richard Anthony Dunford | Sarah Alexandra Marks, Eric Roberts, Colin Baker
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