Movie Review: Private Number (2014)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2014 thriller starring Hal Ozsan and Nicholle Tom.

Synopsis: After his first novel has moderate success, a recovering alcoholic begins working on his next book. However, as he struggles to write it, he finds his concentration broken, both by a series of mysterious phone calls at all hours and constant hallucinations. When he realizes the reason why, he begins researching an old serial killer cold case in search of answers.

Who's In It?

Review

The Wisconsin Badgers were playing late last night but, since I had been up since early that morning, I realized I wasn't going to be able to watch the whole game and decided to monitor the early scores while watching a movie with my wife instead. I ended up picking this film because it seemed somewhat interesting and because it had a relatively high rating on Netflix. And, as it turns out, it was actually a pretty decent thriller/mystery.

OK, to tell you the truth, the ending did prove to be somewhat predictable and my wife and I both haphazardly guessed at the surprise twist. However, despite that, the film still turned out to be very entertaining.

There are a couple reasons for this. The primarily one was the fact we couldn't really tell what was really happening to the writer (Ozsan) and what was just a figment of his imagination. Since he had a history of having hallucinations, it was difficult to tell if he was facing an evil presence, someone was trying to warn him from beyond the grave or the stress of his new book combined with the lack of sleep from the constant phone calls was taking a toll on him.

I also liked the mystery from the cold case he ultimately begins to investigate. As I said, my wife and I both had some suspicions about what he would find and, as it turns out, we were right. But, there were actually quite a few suspects ranging from the sheriff (Nelson) and potentially even his wife (Tom) since we really didn't know that much about her past and he, himself, had only known her for about three years.

Even when the truth was revealed, the movie did a great job of explaining the connection between a cold-hearted serial killer and a stressed-out writer. Even after guessing who the killer was, this part of the movie was something we weren't expecting and were glad it explained things so well. I wish more movies would put that much effort into their stories.

Final Opinion

After being disappointed by the last couple thrillers I've watched, I did have some doubts about this movie when we started watching it. However, it proved to be an entertaining film and I would recommend it as a result of that.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 12/31/2015, StevenHelmer
 
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