Hotline (1982 TV Movie)
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In to this attractive young widow's life a stalker enters and aggressively pursues her invading her home. Possibly the same depraved individual is behind multiple murders of young women in the area. Probably the same sicko is continually calling Brianne at the distress centre speaking in riddles and taunting her.
Price downplays the seriousness of the phone calls as do co-workers. A lot of cranks call in to the centre and they are used to it. But the raspy-voiced creep continues to call the centre and asks for her. Brianne continues to accept the calls and play along trying to guess the riddles he keeps leaving her with even as he calls her at home and then the bar.
Brianne doesn't scare easily. That is one of the first things we find out about her. Because of this aspect of her character she can indulge her curiosity sorting through the variety of weirdos she meets with seemingly lesser regard to her own life and limb than most might have. But given that a number of the same weirdos are within her social circle that might be another reason.
The surprise resolution to the mystery is mildly jarring to the viewer but considerably more so to the heroine/potential next victim.
Though less than brilliant this goofy but fun CBS TV movie has real appeal not merely for its distinguished cast but also for the fact that it tells us a story rather than giving us a lecture. Far too many made-for-TV movies produced at that time and since featured a serious social issue plot and 'Based on a true story' pedigrees. An old-fashioned movie with a fictionalized narrative was becoming rare in made-for-TV cinema.
The script for this production could have been made into a low-budget feature. Because it was on television it offered the viewer a movie night without leaving the comfort of home or incurring the expense and hassle of going to the cinema.
Also, a surprise to see fellow Brit Julian Fellowes as a store owner called Leo (with hair) - that was a hoot.
All in all, not a bad film as I said earlier, I'm guessing at the time it was made in 1982 it would have been suspenseful but by today's standards it's pretty tame but great to watch on a dark rainy night - make sure your doors are all locked though (just in case).