THE GRAVE CALLER ** USA 2017 Dir: Joseph Anderson. 93 mins
Teen author Sam Talbot (Nathaniel Grauwelman) travels to the country with his wife Veronica (Vanessa Cuccia) to his families cabin. He wants to investigate rumours of a curse placed on his family and investigate his uncles suicide. He finds his uncles diary and from this begins to unravel tales of alcohol abuse and rape which lead to demon summoning and murder. To what ends will this demon go to and will it leave his family alone as Sam soon finds himself making similar mistakes to his uncle ending in tragedy??
THE GRAVE CALLER is an awesome name for a movie particularly if it was zombie themed but alas this is not zombie themed, though it does have a half-hearted storyline of reanimation but this is neither made very obvious or even really highlighted it is just something that happens. It has two stories playing out alternately… the story of the present day Sam interspersed with the story of uncle Sam Talbot (Jacob Crikenberger) apparently taking place in the early 80’s though this is not made all that obvious either as the costumes for each time and story look exactly the same. Neither of these stories make a whole lot of sense to start with either, as it goes on you begin to piece things together but it is a bit of a slog. I found the acting really insincere and wooden from every member of the cast, in fact the only one that had any confidence in his character was director Joseph Anderson as the Reverand in the uncles story. The psychic that tries to help uncle Sam speaks so slowly I actually found myself falling asleep it was that bad.
It feels very broken and disjointed throughout but it does also have a few plus points. There are some nice black and white shots at the end of the movie and it has an okay sounding piano based soundtrack. The movie took far too long to get the main point across but once it got going it was quite a powerful ending, unfortunately a bit too late for me. It borrows quite a few traits from other movies but uses them to good effect, the bunny headed killer being the most obvious one. Plus there is a vomiting scene that is pretty awesome and it does have a truly tragic accident its just a shame its so badly acted and put together. It has a combination of good practical effects with flashes of no where near as good CGI effects. I still don’t quite get how the two stories relate to each other apart from the obvious family tie and I guess I never will as its not one I will be watching again.
Review by Sarah Budd