Underground Film Journal

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Short Horror Movie: Flatline

By Mike Everleth ⋅ September 27, 2010

Embedded above is a fun little horror movie called Flatline written and directed by Justin Buettner. In it, a man (West Ramsey) driving down a deserted road sees a woman (Shelby Hagensmith) being abducted and decides to play good Samaritan. He follows the kidnapper (Tim Fua) and his victim back to a remote house with the hope of pulling off a daring rescue.

This is a fairly simple film with very to-the-point directing and not much visual flair. But, it has a nice pacing that kept my interest patiently waiting to see how it would end. Horror connoisseurs will pretty much figure out where its all headed, but there’s at least a satisfying feeling of dread as the “hero” starts poking his head around corners and into dark rooms.

One of the appealing things about the film is the odd, seemingly inconsistent set design. The film’s main location looks like an average, middle-class house that just had a couple rooms made up in a spooky style. For example, the hero discovers a couple of rooms that have beds wrapped in plastic and draped with chains. But later, he walks down one hallway that’s decorated with typical family framed photos hanging on the wall that one would find in many normal homes.

The framed pictures look oddly out of place, especially since we know we’re in the home of a burly man who likes to snatch women off of the side of the road. Guys like that usually aren’t the sentimental type who hang up family keepsakes. However, the photos are a design element that actually adds a nice commentary about the banality of evil to the film. Of course, the photos are probably just the property of the owners of the house being filmed in that just happened to be left up during shooting. But, it still works.

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