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From Robber Baron Productions, the team that brought us the highly
acclaimed, award-winning short On Edge, comes a new six-minute horror
Once again it stars Doug Bradley, he of Pinhead fame, who shot this in
London just before jetting off to shoot - Lord help us - Hellraiser VII.
Bradley is a teacher, newcomer Kirsty Levett his miscreant pupil, caught running in the hallways and sentenced to detention: lines. `I want to see that pad half-full by the time I come back,' says Sir. `The sooner you start, the sooner you finish.' Which is sort of contradictory, but if you think about it is the sort of inconsistency that characterises creepy, control-freak teachers.
With such a short film, it wouldn't be fair to describe the story, so I'll just say that it's bleak, creepy, nasty and supernatural. Levett is very good in a role without dialogue, looking genuinely frightened. Bradley underplays his role to excellent effect. It's simple but original and tightly written and directed by Frazer Lee. Though shot on digital video - - the cinematography by Alan Stewart (Band of Brothers) is top notch and adds to the atmosphere.
While it doesn't hurt to have an actor as good and as well-known as Bradley in a film like this, this is much more than just a star vehicle. It's an excellent slice of British horror, well-crafted and genuinely unsettling.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Cast your minds back to your school days and I bet there was always one
teacher you thought wasn't quite right, one that didn't quite make you
feel at ease, Or maybe it was just me but I swear my science teacher
was a cross dressing mass murderer at the weekends. Errr yeah, where
was I? Oh yeah Red Lines.
Red Lines tells the story of school girl Emily and an after school detention for the terrible crime of running in the corridors. Doug Bradley plays the un-named teacher administering the detention and sets Emily the task of writing lines. Nothing too sinister so far and as the teacher leaves the room Emily gets to work. I must not run, I must not run, I must not run That's where the first scare hits you. Emily is visited by an apparition that warns her she MUST run. The words appear on the blackboard in blood then the apparition points to the desk drawer and all too soon you realize detention is so much more than just writing lines and our teacher has a dark unhealthy obsession. Emily is in deep trouble.
The terror in this short comes not from what you see on screen but rather from what you know has taken place in the past and what's to come. You don't need to see the teachers actions to shock you, Frazer Lee's story does that brilliantly. Kirsty Levett in her first acting role brilliantly plays the terrified student and once again Doug Bradly's performance is first rate. His mannerisms put the viewer on edge and you know bad things are on the way. The direction from Frazer Lee is beautiful and captures the claustrophobic atmosphere of the class room perfectly. You witness the fear in Emily's eyes as the teacher moves towards her and you sense the evil intentions of the teacher but again it's all down to the story and the performances of the actors that give you the horror factor. It's all down to the imagination of the viewer just what does or doesn't happen. The ground work is there in the brilliant use of short scenes and dialog and the way Frazer builds the tension but it's up to you to put it all together.
This isn't an in-your-face shock horror, it's a psychological horror and a brilliant piece of film making. Like On Edge it's a short film, in this case just over 5 minutes but it works so damn well. It stays with you and leaves you with an uneasy feeling as your mind continues the events you've just witnessed. That's where the horror begins! "Red Lines gave me the total creeps..." (Tobe Hooper, director of Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist).
As well as the two films, the disc also contains an interview with Frazer Lee where he tells of his personal love of dentistry and a little inside info on his up-coming full length feature film Urbane starring Doug Bradley. You also have a brilliant interview with Doug himself and a great collection of out-takes and bloopers from both films. Worth the price of the disc alone.
This short was okay. Nothing special, a bit predictable had you seen any actual movies of this type like "The Sixth Sense", "Stir of Echoes", and things of that nature. It had a nice nice moments, but I do think it got deflated by the over inflated ending. You knew where it was going and it kind of went on and on. All the time I kept wondering, should this be over if she is not going to do anything other than fret? So the story, girl goes into detention for running, a teacher makes her write in a notepad I will not run and some spooky stuff happens and then the teacher returns. The teacher was apparently the same guy who did Pinhead in the Hellraiser movies, and man he looked rather old here and this short is eight years old now so I am betting his Pinhead days are long gone now anyway. His performance is okay, nothing special, but he does seem like the typical teacher. The gal is a bit of an over actor though and I thought she brought this one down a notch as did the over the top supernatural occurrences that happen to make the girl sure there was something not quite right. I think it could have been really good, as is it had its good and bad moments to it.
This is a hard short film for me to judge and I must admit up front
that I am not particularly a fan of modern horror films. So just
because I wasn't thrilled by RED LINES doesn't mean that die-hard
horror fans won't love it. It just didn't do much for me.
The story is about a teen who is in detention and when her teacher leaves, zombies appear and try to get her to run. Apparently the teacher is evil, though I really think the plot wasn't that important in this film. Instead, the energy seemed to be on building suspense and mood--not on working out all the details of the story or making it a traditional style of narrative. For me, I just wanted more payoff--not just creepy atmosphere.
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