One film Dread Central has been championing since we first caught it is co-writers/co-directors Phillip Escott and Craig Newman’s brutally affecting debut, Cruel Summer (review); a film that went on to shock and surprise audiences at The Horror Show FrightFest and The Molins de Rei Horror Film Festival in all the best possible ways.
Further to its succesful festival run, the film is now slated for a UK home release through Matchbox Films this coming February 6th, 2017.
Inspired by actual events, the film finds autism sufferer, Danny (Richard Pawulski), heading off on his own to camp out in the country as part of his Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. Secluded from the rest of the world, he soon finds himself hunted by Nicholas (Danny Miller), a classmate out for blood all because of a lie created by the enamoured and envious Julia (Natalie Martins). Teaming up with a new kid on the block, Calvin (Reece Douglas), the three youths close in on the innocent Danny, as Nicholas’ designs grow erratic and increasingly more violent. As the film reaches its shocking climax, Julia and Calvin start questioning whether they are capable of going through with Nicholas’ deadly plan.
Commenting on the inspiration behind Cruel Summer in a recent interview with Dread Central, Escott said:
“We wrote the film in 2013 when there was a lot of media coverage on youth-related crime and violence so there were many news articles to draw from when creating the story for Cruel Summer. We started looking into as many reports as possible and ended up forming the foundation of the script using several real-life crimes, including the murder of Terry Hurst in 2004 as well as many more. What leapt out at us was that all the crimes appeared to have an element of peer pressure or bullying as one of the core motivations and the incidents always seemed to involve a gang or group of people seemingly encouraging the attacker(s) to carry out the crime and were rarely premeditated. This is what we wanted to explore: how peer pressure and bullying can convince young people to commit brutal and violent crimes, what events preceded the crime and how does a young person end up being involved in something so tragic, from both sides, as attacker and victim. We simply used the news articles for inspiration and took elements from each one to form the characters and the script. We weren’t trying to tell one specific true story or focus on any particular person or group from those stories. We were more interested in the “why” and not the “what.”
The film is available to pre-order now and we’ll leave you with the latest trailer and hope to be able to provide news of further international release dates some time real soon…