While working at a crisis hotline for the LGBT community, Simon receives a call from Danny, who reveals what happened to him, but also what he is planning to do…
Crisis Hotline, or Shadows In Mind as it is called on the IMDB, is a film that takes a plot we’ve seen a number of times before, but gives it a spin of sorts, by setting it among gay men, with it here being the story of a young man, drawn into a relationship only to discover his new partner and his friends have an agenda of their own, a dark, twisted one and then plotting a revenge of sorts.
However, as written by Mark Schwab, who also directs, there are no real twists here, no surprises at all. The image above makes it look like a horror or thriller, but in truth it comes over as nothing more than a drama, with the ‘action’ being mainly a phone call between Simon and Danny, as Danny tells what happened to him and why he is planning revenge. The actual revenge itself happens off screen, which means there is no tension or race against time as Simon tries to stop Danny. However, while I think the story is weak as a thriller, as a drama I do think it’s actually well told. Schwab directs it well, focusing on the cast’s performances as the story unfolds.
He’s helped by very good performances from his cast. Corey Jackson plays Simon and is very good as the hotline operator, trying to remain calm and keep Danny talking. Danny is played by Christian Gabriel and he too is very good as a young man finding his first love. Pano Tsaklas plays Kyle, Danny’s boyfriend and is also pretty good, as are August Browning as Lance and Christopher Fung as Christian as the friends.
The film is well designed, well shot and the music is okay. But for all its plus points, it can’t escape it’s potentially central flaw, in that, if it is meant to be a thriller, it fails. As a drama, it’s not that bad.
Whatever title you see this film under, be it Crisis Hotline or Shadows In Mind, avoid the trailer as it makes it appear a film it is not. If you want a thriller this isn’t it. However what it is is a compelling drama, one I quite liked.