Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the horror short NO CALLER ID by writer/director Guy Pigden. For a pretty accurate rundown, I will turn to the IMDB plot description:
Heather gets a mysterious call in the night and, after several strange occurences, she being to believe she is not alone.
This short has a rapid fire approach that crams as many stalker/slasher tropes as possible into a slick eight minutes. As such, the entire piece is about building and maintaining tension right up until the final shot. It is incredibly effective merely for the fact that we are given very little time to catch our breath from moment to moment right from the get go straight through to the conclusion.
I was happy to see that even with the double timed pace, the style of the piece remained controlled and not choppy. The short kept long, steady camera shots without resorting to shaky or quick cuts to create the illusion of action. This approach is right in line with the classic slasher features of old which focused on expectation more than action.
Given how basic the story is, I was surprised to see such a strong performance from the lead actress. She takes what is otherwise a paper thin character and imbues it with just enough humanity to make her likeable. It was a great strength that such a solid actress was hired since she is in nearly every shot in this film.
If I had to level one critique, it is more down to the movie logic occasionally being inconsistent. For instance, the pet dog, which spends nearly ever scene by the porch door barking, is suddenly absent when the killer stalks and enters the house. It did not make sense to me the first time through and, on a repeated viewing, still did not quite gel with what came before.
All in all, this is a tense little piece that could easily serve as the first scene in a slasher movie. In fact, having said that, I would like to see more of this masked killer as the introduction was so effective that I am curious to see his further exploits. Fans of SCREAM (1996) should definitely check this out as it feels so much like the beginning of that film crossed with WHEN A STRANGER CALLS (1979).
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