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CRUEL SUMMER Film Review
Directed By Phillip Escott & Craig Newman
Genre: Social Realism - Horror
Appropriately titled ‘CRUEL’ SUMMER, this remarkable film is unrelenting throughout. Events are so senseless that they even give Michael Haneke’s films a run for their money.
Three friends - Nicholas, Calvin and Julia - embark on a trip to locate an autistic boy who is camping, alone, and who may or may not have slept with Nicholas’ (Danny Miller) girlfriend. Before the film thrusts the audience into its gut-wrenching final act, it humanises three seemingly hopeless youths by showing us how they act and spend their days.
They’ve accepted (or are they condemned by) the hand they have been dealt with in life, and anything resembling a bright future seems unattainable (Calvin is mocked for wanting to go university). The main trio all deliver performances of the highest possible standard, especially Danny Miller, who steals the show in nearly every scene he’s in. He can be terrifyingly cruel one moment, then somehow make the viewer pity him simply because he is so hopeless and damaged. His blind desire is so pointless that the audience is forced to at least empathise, even if his motivations and actions are morally reprehensible.
CRUEL SUMMER is a tough watch; its approach has prevented it from being average. Throughout, the emphasis is strictly on character. If it was the opposite, and indulged in the violence throughout, it would have a very different film.
CRUEL SUMMER is released on DVD 6th February 2017.
Phil Escott talked about CRUEL SUMMER on the Britflicks Podcast
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