Cruel Summer, A Film To Look Out For In 2018
Cruel summer film details
Writer Phillip Escott
Release date 27th February 2018
Release format VOD
MPAA rating Certificate 15
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Running time 80 mins
Young Autism sufferer Danny enjoys the serenity and solitude of camping. That’s all about to change when enraged teens Nicholas, Calvin and Julia find him, each with their own agenda for wanting to see Danny suffer
Danny (Richard Pawulski), a teenager with autism, escapes the inner city for the beautiful countryside as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. Little does he know, that bitter Nicholas (Danny Miller) is hunting him, stemming from a lie created by the enamoured and envious Julia (Natalie Martins) and Calvin (Reece Douglas). As the three close in on Danny, Nicholas’ behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and violent, and Julia and Calvin must decide whether to go through with Nicholas’ deadly plan.
It’s a rarity for a film to fill me with such powerful emotions but Phillip’s Escott’s Cruel Summer managed to inflict horror upon my psyche permanently. Though not a typical horror film ‘Cruel Summer’ delivers horror in a psychological fashion, leaving an impact even after the credits have finished.
Visually stunning and filled with a very strong plot Escott’s ability as a director/writer shines through vividly as we follow the story of a young autistic boy named Danny, innocent to the cruel intentions of the world only later to be subjected to horrendous methods of torture.
Related Article: Cruel Summer First Impressions
The films plot centres around bullying and the consequences of that heinous act. When malicious lies turn into a terrifying plan of action, Cruel Summer wrenches at our deepest heart strings.
Richard Pawulski who played Danny has the ability to impress in Escott’s traumatically real adaption of pure malevolence. Portraying a boy who suffers from a common mental disability is a hard role to act, I commend Pawulski in his thoroughness on such a challenging role. Danny Miller who plays the vindictive, manipulative Nicholas does a fantastic job of making me feel total repulsion for his character.
His co-stars and gang mob in the film Natalie Martins who plays the mouthy Julia and Reece Douglas who plays the sympathetic middle man, they all stirred enough disdain within me to the point of where I felt the need to pause the movie because of how strongly I felt pain for the victim.
The effects used in the film were simple but effective. There was no over the top gore which made the film feel real, an important element in filmmaking when influenced by true life events.
The overall viewing experiencing in total honesty was agony but not intended as an insult to Escott or Newman. Cruel Summers was one of the most harrowing and disturbing experiences of my life a trait that Escott was clearly aiming for. In conclusion, there is very little to say apart from that it was a powerfully moving experience and definitely a film to look out for this year.