Released on July 5, 2022 through Wild Eye Releasing, Final Caller is not the first Horror film to set itself in the confines of a radio station. There is something about being on air that not only seems to invite attentive listeners but also seems to attract murdering psychopaths too.
Written and directed by Todd Sheets (Bonehill Road 2017, Clownado 2019), in the case of this film we have late night radio presenter Roland Bennett (Douglas Epps: Bonehill Road 2017, Clownado 2019). Quite obnoxious, in the middle of a show when he receives a call from ‘The Outsider’ who is threatening to kill a woman live on air. But is this simply a prank or is Roland dealing with a real life serial killer?
Horror does not need a lot of money to work well and as such low budget Horror films can be amongst the most appealing in the genre. The caveat to this however is that the audiences’ attention cannot be distracted by budgetary constraints. Unfortunately Final Caller calls attention to its low/no budget nature throughout the film and it is hard not to become preoccupied by the badly lit scenes and unbelievable radio set-up.
Another massive, and similarly distracting, issue with Final Caller is that there are no redeemable, likeable or interesting characters. As the radio host dealing with a deranged caller, Roland should be someone that the audience feels some sort of connection to. After all no one would want to face such a scary and helpless situation. However Roland is so incredibly unlikeable, rude and unpleasant that it is hard to ever care that he is dealing with a murderer. Ironically, The Outsider appears to be cut from the same cloth as Roland. This is another loud-mouthed and self-righteous man and so the battle of wills between them is incredibly uninteresting. The audience is witness to two misogynistic and unbearable men and the fact that one of them is a killer and one is not becomes almost interchangeable.
Moreover, the dialogue throughout is absolutely atrocious and induces so much eye rolling that audiences are likely to feel exhausted come the credits. Roland and The Outsider speak in such a stereotypical and ridiculous manner that it feels like someone googled ‘disgusting things incels and misogynists might say’ and copied it word for word in place of a script.
The one thing that you cant take away from Final Caller is that it does at least make a solid effort to use practical effects and as a result the gory and bloody scenes are disgusting in the way they should be. Unfortunately this is not enough to redeem the film. Final Caller is badly filmed, badly acted and will prove ultimately forgettable. That is why Cryptic Rock gives it 1 out of 5 stars.