MIDWEST WEIRDFEST: Night Caller (2022)

Director-writer Chad Ferrin’s (The Deep OnesExorcism at 60,000 FeetNight Caller pulls from so many films, feeling like a modern U.S. version of a late in the game giallo, which is not a bad thing.

It gets the genre names to get you into the movie part down, including Steve Railsback, Lew Temple, Bai Ling and Kelli Maroney in the lineup. And it really lays on the color switches, the gore and the weirdness throughout.

Clementine (Susan Priver) is a phone psychic for Jade (Bai Ling), except that both of them have some level of psychic ability for real. When a James Smith calls in, Clementine knows right away that he’s a killer and she can see his murders inside her mind, a talent her mother had and her father (Robert Miano) has worried about enough that he makes her carry a gun. Yet when the cops try to help, they end up dead and now the danger really begins.

With references to Maniac and literally showing Dementia 13 and Patrick, this feels like a straight to video VHS movie and again, that’s a good thing. It’s not perfect, but it’s quite willing to go absolutely for it, getting scalping, necrophilia and violent murder — not to mention misogynistic dialogue out of an 80s movie — into it.

The best part? Bai Ling is absolutely berserk. She should be in a real giallo, because I would pay money for that now. Let’s try to make that happen.

Night Caller plays MidWest WeirdFest on Friday, March 4 at 10 PM CST. You can get tickets and more information on the MidWest Weird Fest website.

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