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Cruel Summer

UK 2016
produced by
Phillip Escott, Craig Newman, Sean Langton, John Newman (executive), David Lloyd (executive), Paul McFadden (executive), Chris Crow (executive), Doug Sinclair (executive) for 441 Films, Trebuchet Film Productions, Bang Post Production, Dogs Of Annwn
directed by Phillip Escott, Craig Newman
starring Danny Miller, Reece Douglas, Natalie Martins, Richard Pawulski, Gary Knowles, Grace Dixon, Thomas Conning, Leah Rees, Sabrina Dickens (voice), Josh Hopkins, Melanie Stephens (voice)
story by Phillip Escott, Craig Newman, screenplay by Phillip Escott, songs by Verb T, Winter Villains, Chillman

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Autistic teenager Danny (Richard Pawulski) is brave enough to go camping for a night on his own - and he's doing rather well, actually, even if his parents (Gary Knowles, Grace Dixon) are quite a bit worried, understandably.

Nicholas (Danny Miller) is shattered that his girlfriend Lisa (Sabrina Dickens) has broken up with him - but now his best friend Julia (Natalie Martins), who's (not so) secretly in love with him, sees a chance to get her piece of the pie, so he lies to him that Lisa has been shagging around, first and foremostly with "spastic" Danny (which is a lie). This enrages Nicholas to such an extent that he wants to teach Danny a lesson. So he and Julia pick up their friend Calvin (Reece Douglas) to track Danny down and "punish" him - but since Calvin knows the difference between right and wrong, so Nicholas claims Danny's a pedophile, and there's nothing "wrong" with teaching a pedophile a lesson, right? Especially since Calvin has a nine year old sister.

It takes the trio a while to actually find Danny, and Calvin was on the verge of waivering more than once, but ultimately, they come face to face with Danny, and even though everything's just based on a pack of lies, there's no way for this to not end bloody ...


Now there's a movie that's sure to get under your skin - and it's not so much because of the spectacle (in fact, very little actually happens on screen before the third act) but the anticipation of it. It's almost classic suspense, basically you know this is not going to end well, but the road to get there is fascinating - in a very creepy way of course. But what the film's really good at is getting into the minds of its protagonists, making them more than just cut-outs, just goodies and baddies, but people with emotional range - and a first rate cast does anything but hurt there of course, which is also helped by a very subtle directorial effort giving the actors space to breathe.

In all, definitely worth a look ... but not a film that makes you feel comfortable.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


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