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By Heidi Martinuzzi | January 19, 2005

It’s shot on real film! What a treat! At least, that’s how it looks. Dead Line is a very cool film full of subtle hints and clues into the motives of the characters. It needs to be watched a few times before all the nuances are caught.

A night temp at a shady company finds herself receiving strange phone calls from the day temp, Candace. Candace is asking for help, but the night temp is locked in the building until morning and can’t make outside calls for help. Candace keeps calling, desperate and scared, until the temp discovers from where Candace is calling…

The acting is pretty damn good. The sinister cleaning lady, played by Kay D’Arcy, is both menacing and the object of a strange pity. Dagney Kerr does a great job as the temp, her naturalness really helping her carry the film (most of the dialogue is hers). A skilled camera films argento-esque green lighting and the cold, ominous bare rooms of the locked building. Townsend uses frustration, futility, and apprehension in large amounts to get the viewer’s attention. These are the key elements of the film and what inspires the necessary fear. The soundtrack, by Joseph Carrillo, provides chilling undertones.

This is a better-than-average chiller with excellent cinematography, and thoughtful emphasis on details and shadows. The story will leave you wondering, “Was it Murder, or just an accident?” It’s neither; it’s just very scary.

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