Film: Last Radio Call (2022) and Unknown Visitor (2019)
Director: Isaac Rodriguez
Genre: Found Footage/Indie
Why You Should Watch Them:
My double header indie review this week comes from Texas director Isaac Rodriguez and his films LAST RADIO CALL (2022) and UNKNOWN VISITOR (2019). I have grown an appreciation of Texas horror in the last few years thanks to the indie publishing scene, so I was happy to discover these thanks to a Twitter mutual. Rodriguez has a fairly large catalog of indie horror shorts available to view for free online at Tubi, Roku, YouTube and others, and now with the SAG strike still underway is the perfect time to discover his work!
I watched LAST RADIO CALL first, which was a paranormal horror story shot documentary style about a woman looking for answers about her missing husband. We follow Sarah, an alcoholic widow who is obsessed with finding out the truth of what happened to her police officer husband during a late night call at an abandoned hospital. This story interweaves video tape recordings, police cam footage, audio, cell phone footage and more into the story to help unravel the mystery of what has happened. This one was heavy on the jump scares (fun!) and had a very Blair Witch vibe that found footage film lovers will enjoy. There were a few elements of the storyline that made me raise my eyebrows, but I don’t know enough about the writer/director to pass judgment over whether or not they should be the one telling that part of the story so I’ll just leave it at that. I didn’t totally love this one, but it was intriguing enough for me to look up more of Rodriguez’s work which led me to….
My next indie short from this director, UNKNOWN VISITOR, is a horror story shot entirely from a Ring-like security doorbell camera. This is the kind of terror that lives in my heart. I don’t want to see the kind of stuff that sets off my security cameras at 3AM (though it's usually just a neighborhood cat). Of the two, I liked UNKNOWN VISITOR more for the unique storyline and open-ending. There was one funny moment in particular that I won’t spoil and I wish that the film had more funny moments like it. Like with the other movie, this one suffered a bit in the realistic dialogue department, but the jump scares were good and there was an element of revenge so I was happy!
Both of these are currently free to watch on multiple platforms and clock in at around an hour long, which is perfect for my limited TV viewing time! I’ll be looking out for more of Rodriguez’s short horror films and others like it for my future posts!