Under Surveillance : Release Year - 2005
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Overall Rating : 7/10

Directed By : Dave Campfield

Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp)
Eric Conley
Mark Love
Dave Campfield
Desiree Gould (Sleepaway Camp)

Supplied By : Fourth Horizon Cinema

Film Reviewed By : Rick Blalock

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PLOT
After ten years, Justin Besler has moved back with his father. But his father's house isn't as Justin remembered. It's been renovated to support three apartments, housing somewhat shady neighbors. So when the victim of a cult killing turns up on his property, Justin grows increasingly suspicious of his new housemates. That's when Rick, a questionable friend, talks Justin into using pinhole surveillance cameras on the apartment residents. But the deeper Justin and his friends dig, the more they put their own lives in danger.
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THE REVIEW
Finally the long wait is over! After hearing about UNDER SURVEILLANCE, for God knows how long I finally saw it, thanks to the Director and Co-star Dave Campfield. I will tell you this, my wait may have been a long one, but boy was it ever worth that wait! Not often do horror fans get a thriller that has just about no gore, and a minimal body count, that manages to pull through and actually be worth a damn but with SURVEILLANCE we may very well have found that rare gem.

This film has a very unique story in that the main Character, Justin's Father owns an apartment that actually houses three individual apartments connected to it. Each resident of the occupied apartments are each very different as we would later find out later in the film. When a new mysterious acquaintance of the newly relocated Justin suddenly turns up dead. All individuals in and around the murder all believe this murder points to a local cult known as "The Black Circle", this question arises because Kayla is wearing a ring featuring a pentagram, the symbol used by the cult. Justin, with very different beliefs than the others around him, seems to be suspicious of the individuals living in the surrounding conjoined apartments. Taking his worries a step further, with the suggestion of a friend and the help of another, they decide to install cameras in each of the buildings. Over the course of a few days the 3 friends find out that the neighbor are a lot more kooky than once thought, meanwhile the investigations into the cult continue.

I want to say that the attire donned by the cult members is awesome, the hooded cloaks that the individuals wear as well as the freaky looking masks that offer no means of expression gibe the killers a really spooky and mysterious presence about them. This really made the film that much better, just the idea have a malicious cult slaughtering the innocent leaving no trace behind, is something that's intriguing, As unique as the story alone is, the characters whom are Justin's neighbors are unique in their own right. We have a man living with his wife who just so happens to sell illegal firearms to minors, An older gentleman who seems to take heavy medication for an ailment he has and he also enjoys the company of prostitutes, and least but night least we have a supposed massage therapist whom is very promiscuous with her male clients. All of this which gives each of them potential to be the suspect.

Although, I loved this film and I do seem to praise it very much, it does have some things that hinder it. The movie starts off at a very slow pace, that I think the common movie watcher may be turned off by, but patience is definitely a virtue with UNDER SURVEILLANCE. Another thing is the choice that Dave Campfield made by not including any blood. I believe the attack scenes would have been more effective than they were had there been a little blood, when I say that I do not mean a gallon... just a little, as it's not all necessary, but rather for the look. The acting by Felissa Rose and Desiree Gould especially, is superb! I'll admit that I had not seen these 2 act since their respective roles in SLEEPAWAY CAMP, and I can safely say that the both of them still possess the same charm that fans fell in love with many years ago! Felissa here is playing the massage therapist, and promiscuous neighbor Heidi, Felissa brings this character to life with her ever-glowing sex appeal, wit and charm. Now fans of little Angela from SLEEPAWAY CAMP, well they may be a little surprised to see Felissa in a role such as this, but when you are as versatile an actress as Felissa is you can play anyone!

Desiree Gould here plays the role of Norma, the mother of the main character Justin, Norma is kind of "out there" and that is just what everyone thinks about her as well. Norman tends to give Justin mysterious warnings only to be ignored once more, but what Justin doesn't know is that Norma just might be more sane than once thought. Once again Desiree brings to life an over the top odd ball character, just as she seems to do best. Although Norma and Aunt Martha are almost equal in comparison, Aunt Martha wins in the category of who's more of a nut job. Desiree, does a fine job after many years of hiatus, I really enjoyed what she brought to this film and hope to see her again!

Another Character that stood out was the character by the name of Rick, the friend that convinces his buddies that setting up the cameras is the right thing to do. This character is played by Dave Campfield, the director himself in double duties. Having the directing duties as well did not seem to hold Dave back, as he did give a great supporting performance. Over all the acting was very good, however the supporting cast seemed to outshine and fare better than that of those that were first billed. On another note, I must say it was hilarious seeing my protégé' Jeff Hayes in a cameo role as "snuff movie fan"....

Packed with a great original(to my knowledge at least) story, a tremendous showing by the cast, this movie turned out to be one I thoroughly enjoyed....definitely one of the best independent movies to come my way in a while!
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GORE METER
N/A
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MUSICAL SCORE
5/10 Being a fan of Evan Evans' work in HUNTING HUMANS I was really pleased that he worked on this film, also joining him is first timer Joseph Bauer....I just wish that more music than what was used in the film was used.
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OVERALL IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
I really enjoyed this film, it is loaded with lots of suspenseful elements and mystery that will keep the audience guessing until the very end. While most of today's films are almost always easily predicted UNDER SURVEILLANCE is not. I am not sure of this film's release date as of yet, but when this is released it should be a hit with horror and mystery fans of all types. I do recommend this film to you!
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STILLS