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By Alan Ng | May 23, 2024

A small-town police chief hunts a serial killer in Brandon Keeton’s thriller short, Calls. When a young woman goes missing, newly installed police chief Cruz (Sugey Cruz) is thrown back in time to when the Riverside Strangler was running loose. No one was ever able to uncover the true identity of the Strangler when the abductions ended many years ago. Does this abduction mean the Riverside Strangler is back, or are we dealing with a copycat?

Just after news of a second abduction, Chief Cruz goes into full investigation mode. As Cruz is visiting the police call center, she answers the call from someone who claims to be the Riverside Strangler’s last victim from years ago. Unfortunately, the call was not long enough to trace its origin.

“…thrown back in time to when the Riverside Strangler was running loose.”

In just fourteen minutes, filmmaker Brandon Keeton pieces together a compelling low-budget indie thriller that elevates itself above its inexpensive production values and unknown cast. The story is everything, and Keeton’s story shows he is a student of not only the crime procedural but also adds a supernatural element to raise the stakes.

Sugey Cruz is amazing as the film’s lead, Chief Cruz, and Keeton’s script gives her a lot of room to play as Keeton adds elements of backstage drama, thrusting Cruz into a position of leadership that she may not feel 100% qualified for. Calls is a short, low-budget indie with the potential to be something bigger.

Calls (2024)

Directed and Written: Brandon Keeton

Starring: Sugey Cruz, Greg Poppa, Michelle Batista, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Calls Image

"…a compelling low-budget indie thriller..."

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