Monday, November 7, 2016

When the Spelling of Your Title Is the Most Interesting Thing About Your Movie

One can never judge a straight-to-streaming horror film by its cover, but that certainly doesn't stop many a viewer from watching one because it has a good one.

Then you watch it, and remember the adage goes two ways.

Quick Plot: Jo is in a bit of a slump, having lost her track scholarship due to an injury and her faith in her boyfriend after learning that he cheated on her. Now, she spends most of her time arguing with her parents, running, or not paying attention to the two little boys she babysits.

One afternoon, Jo notices Elliot, the younger of her charges, fleeing the ice cream man in mysterious fear. Considering her wears clown makeup, it's not hard to understand why, although Willie, as he calls himself, takes things a little further with a racist puppet show and some creepy overtones to Jo.

Before you know it--well, after a whole lot of nothing, actually--young Elliot disappears right under Jo's negligent watch. Ben, Jo's ex, is convinced that the same shady ice cream man was last seen in the same fateful late where Elliot's shoes (but not body) were discovered. Could this unbalanced dairy lover be a child-killing, ex-high-school-track-star-stalking murderer?

Describing Kruel with the above synopsis has probably led you to picture a fairly standard horror movie. In reality, what you get is essentially a Lifetime flick with maybe 8 oz. more blood.

Written and directed by Robert Henderson, Kruel is ultimately more about a young woman dealing with the fallout from being betrayed by her high school sweetheart. A good 70% of this film's running time is spent on Jo trying to work through her feelings and Ben attempting to win her back.

And then there's sorta an obsessive unhinged one quarter clown.

No, it's not good, especially as the horror movie its cover and marketing sells it to be. That aside, if you're looking for a light thriller about, well, dealing with unfaithfulness in relationships, this is a movie and things happen in it.

High Points
The film is shot well. Lead actress Kierney Nelson works hard. It's a movie. Things happen in it.

Low Points
...just not many things of interest

Lessons Learned
Never get kidnapped in short shorts if you're going to be running through the Okefenokee swamp

Being cheated on hurts, but being hunted by a psychotic clown ice cream man is a whole lot worse

If a conversation continues so long that it turns into a montage, it just may give a kidnapper enough time to swipe a child right out from under you

Unless you've recently ended a relationship because you caught your significant other with someone else and you really feel you need to consider what that means, this is not the movie for you.

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