Telemurder (2010) – By Emily Intravia

Sure, they might bother you just as dinner is served, but if Telemurder has anything to say, it’s that it can certainly pay to be a whole lot nicer to the anonymous voices on the other side of your phone line.

With a script by Dewayne Jefferson, Jim Andre directs a short film that follows a hapless day in the seemingly miserable life of Chris Butz (Mike Dwiggens), a geeky telemarketer trying his best to squeeze a few donations out of local strangers. This is especially difficult in The Arch Group’s office, where his smarmy colleagues delight in embarrassing the poor guy at every turn, even going so far as to set up a prank call to a bigoted weight lifter with anger issues.

As with many short films, Telemurder ends on a neat twist that won’t be spoiled here. The final moment is rewarding and fair, leaving you satisfied at a skewed form of justice and curious for more.

Most of the action of Telemurder takes place inside a typically bland office. Andre taps into the sterile, lifeless environment to great effect, using the cold impersonal feel of cubicles and sports jackets to build up Chris’s daily frustrations. Stephanie SeRine’s cinematography works well to establish this kind of lifeless, empty world, while Carlos Villalobos’ music produces a fun, overly dramatic ominousness that easily guides us to a naughty climax.

Though not terrifying or overly satirical, Telemurder is an entertaining and brief glimpse into a world that could certainly host a full-length genre film. Let’s hope we see the continuation of poor Mr. Butz’s evolution.

Telemurder is currently making its rounds through various film festivals. For more information about upcoming screenings, visit Telemurder’s official website at telemurder.com, or send an email to hello@telemurder.com.