It’s another case of “2 out of 3 ain’t bad” in my latest viewings, so let’s get right to them.
THE CALLER (2011)
If Back to the Future and The Twilight Zone had a baby, it would be The Caller. This is a pretty dang good thriller for viewers who want something a little more complex than found footage, possession, vampires, werewolves, zombies, or a masked killer.
Rachelle Lefevre of Under the Dome and the Twilight movies plays a chick with a restraining order against her ex, cutie Ed Quinn. Hoping for a fresh start, she moves into a new apartment. She immediately begins getting strange calls from a woman who claims to be living at the time of the Vietnam War and insists her man lives there. Rachelle is creeped out at first, but then she sort of befriends the woman, who is also in an abusive relationship. With one comment, Rachelle kind of…well…implies that the woman should kill her bad man. Soon after, Rachelle senses there’s something very odd going on behind the wall in her pantry….
With help from her neighbor (Stephen “Vampire Bill” Moyer), Rachelle taps into the paranormal time shift that she’s ignited…and the monster she’s created on the other end of the phone.
Essentially, this film is The Crazies under medical supervision. Two college guys, including horror hottie Travis Van Winkle (Friday the 13th, Asylum, Rites of Passage), agree to be part of a test on a new allergy medicine. They enter a clinic, where we meet a variety of personalities also involved in the study.
Things start getting weird as soon as the medicine is administered, including people having gruesome dreams, weird animal sounds and sightings, and even a crazy guy running through the clinic babbling a warning for them to save themselves…just before he’s dragged out. Um….
Needless to say, all the test subjects begin going bat shit crazy. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but it gets gory good and thrilling. And since no horror movie can seem to trust in what it has to offer these days, Eric Roberts is tossed in for a 2-second cameo at the end, a cheap stunt that totally negates the fact this is a pretty good movie.
THE LAST HOUSE ON CEMETERY LANE (2015)
A horror screenwriter moves into a house and learns a blind old lady lives in the attic. Okay. Are you all geared up for something along the lines of Burnt Offerings or The Sentinel? Well, shift into a lower gear.
The Last House on Cemetery Lane tries to present itself as an atmospheric and creepy paranormal film, but it’s pretty deceptive. What we get is numerous scenes of leading man Lee Bane (Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection, Kerb Crawlers, Silent Night, Bloody Night: The Homecoming) suffering from creepy dreams (the most disturbing scenes of the film) and occasionally seeing a shadow passing by while doing everyday activities. He gets close to one of his female neighbors, they do a séance, he finally decides he needs to talk to the old lady upstairs, and **SPOILERS**…
The movie turns out to have nothing to do with ghosts and everything to do with a bitch with an axe. The big twist comes too late and too fast to save this from being a pretty bland film overall.