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Crisis Hotline (2019) - Movie Review

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Crisis Hotline (2019)

Because we all need context.

There is something AWESOME to be said when horror shows its good side: inclusiveness.  Sometimes with this genre, we get offerings of stories that other genres – especially coming out of Hollywood – aren’t quite ready to tackle.  And horror that features members of the LGBT community as its principle characters (with a relationship between two men as its primary focus) proves to be a win for writer/director Mark Schwab’s latest film, Crisis Hotline.

"a tightly-wound thriller"

Simon (Corey Jackson) is a bit concerned about the calls he is getting as an operator for a Silicon Valley LGBT crisis hotline.  It’s not that the calls or the subject matter bothers him, mind you.  It’s just that the calls aren’t exactly emergencies.  He’s only been with the company for a bit and already, as warned by another operator, he’s got a bit of a cynical nature concerning the calls that won’t really help him in the long run.

But, Crisis Hotline isn’t really about Simon.  It’s about the night that Simon gets a phone call from Danny (Christian Gabriel).  Danny’s voice sounds faraway.  But there is an eerie edge to it; as if Danny is about to do something very disturbing.  Or has he already done it? {googleads}

And so Simon listens . . . and Danny’s story gets more disturbing as he recounts what has happened to him and what has led him to this moment: the end of his life . . . or so Simon thinks.

But this call is unlike any other and Simon, who gets some help from co-worker Curtis (Mike Mizwicki) in handling the call, is in for a wild night of navigation.

What follows is a tightly-wound thriller that focuses on flashbacks as Danny, who has never before been in an intense relationship with a man, tells of how he first fell for Kyle (Pano Tsaklas), the secret buried in the destructive lives of Lance (August Browning) and Christian (Christopher Fung), and how now this night (and call) must end. Crisis Hotline (2019)

Thanks to a handful of key sequences saturated in modern day atmospheres, a believable love story, and a whole lot of suspense, Crisis Hotline delivers an intriguing journey into the dark parts of the heart as betrayal takes hold.  This is not the suicide call Simon is expecting and, perhaps, he’s not yet ready to handle this intense and twisting story.  Are we, though?

Crisis Hotline is, at times, an uncomfortable film to sit through because of how well it handles its subject matter and the tension created in the set-up and, ultimately, the execution.  It leaves its mark as a slow burn of a narrative.  The mounting relationship grows hotter and hotter and so does the betrayal.  And the film’s lighting, delivered by  cinematographer Dante Yore, is also a HUGE part of why this thriller (and all its dirty secrets) work so well at guiding us through the darkness.

3/5 beers

Crisis Hotline (2019)


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor:
Available on Blu-ray

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Crisis Hotline (2019)

MPAA Rating: Unrated
83 mins
: Mark Schwab
Mark Schwab
August Browning, Corey Jackson, Pano Tsaklas
: Horror
Life or Death ... It's Your Call.
Memorable Movie Quote: "You have me."
High Octane Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 1, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: A cynical counselor at a crisis hotline finds himself in a life or death situation when a young man calls and threatens to kill three people and then himself.


Crisis Hotline (2019)

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