November 14, 2006

Long Distance (2005)

At last, a not so crappy low budget thriller! The plot is not all that original but it's been very well done.

Monica Keena (from "Freddy vs. Jason") plays a character named Nicole Freeman who is menaced by a serial killer on the phone (whom she called by accident while trying to phone her mother at the beginning of the film). He proceeds to call her from the home of each of his victims just before killing them, causing her all sorts of distress, while the police, who have tapped her phone, try to get him. Seen it before? Well, duh, "When A Stranger Calls", "Black Christmas" and "Scream" all spring to mind.

But Monica Keena does it really well. She's very easy on the eye and has some lovable expressions. She has a very distracting mouth though. Her top lip looks like she's had some enhancement on the right hand side (the left as you watch) in close-up. Be prepared, because there are LOTS of close-ups! In fact about 80% of the time, the screen seems to be filled with nothing but Monica Keena looking flawless.

But maybe she's just not completely perfect after all. Certainly at one point her shirt rises up at the back to reveal that she has fallen prey to the celebrity tattooing fad... yuk. Her character also wears an annoying piece of red string on her wrist as a bracelet which I couldn't work out a reason for. Kabbala perhaps? She could do with longer nails though but maybe that's part of the character too. It also looks like she likes to dye her blonde roots black. How do they do that? But I digressed. As an actress she's pretty good so I can't really slate her for her work. This film is obviously her "vehicle" but it's not Monica Keena's performance alone that makes it good.

In spite of some sometimes annoying background music (I wouldn't have used any background sounds myself if I'd made it!), there is enough suspense and story to hold your attention almost until the end. When the serial killer turned up at Monica's apartment, I lost interest temporarily as I was more into the developing relationship between her and the cop (Ivan Martin) sent to look after her.

There's a twist at the end, again not overly original for anyone who has seen "Identity" or "Dead End", but it's very nicely done.

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