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KRUEL (2014): Review…Plenty Of Potential…That Wasn’t Used

Kruel 2014

Here’s how the story unfolds in KRUEL… Jo finds out her boyfriend cheated on her, she is devastated and breaks up with him, but he knows he screwed up and wants her to take him back.  While babysitting, Jo meets a strange ice cream man that creeps her out. One day while babysitting, Ben comes over and Jo gets distracted.  The youngest child goes missing, and Jo believes it’s the ice cream man.  Because the police believe the child is dead they are not pursuing the case. So Jo and Ben take in upon themselves to try and find the child while pursuing the ice cream man.

As they get closer to the truth, they begin to get threatened by someone.  Is it the killer or the ice cream man taking a revengeful interest in the two accusing him, or both?

I really, really wanted to like this film.  The first half of the film is like an intense Lifetime movie involving Jo and Ben’s relationship, the relationship between Jo and her parents…and then the child goes missing.  I honestly enjoyed the first part of the film involving the relationships between these people.  It was interesting and intriguing.  Writer/director Robert Henderson sets this up well, with good writing and character development.

The first time we meet the ice cream man, who is known around town as Willy Cool, he brings the creep! Face painted like a clown but with up-side-down ice cream cones painted around his eyes, actor J.T. Chinn nails the character in this scene and I was anxiously anticipating the next time I got to see him.  However, the creepy erratic behavior is not followed through; the next time we meet the character he is not in makeup and just a regular guy, nowhere near as creepy and his eccentric, creepy, persona vanishes.  He just becomes this annoying, yelling fool that is neither scary nor threatening in any way.  I don’t know why Henderson would build this character’s personality as this crazy, weird, awkward, and the coolest element in the film and then just drop it suddenly.  It’s like these were two different characters, and the one that got dropped was the one that really worked.

The coolest character disappears and never returns in Kruel

Once Ben and Jo’s relationship issues are resolved, the film turns into a boring yawn of capture, and getaway, with no real feeling of dread.  I honestly never once felt Jo was in any danger at the hands of the bad guy.  I never felt scared; I did, however, feel I wanted this movie to end at the beginning of the third act.  It was so disappointing watching this great cast (especially Kierney Nelson as Jo and Adam Vernier as her father) build up these great characters just to shit all over them at the end of the flick.  Also, Dakota Morrissiey, who played Ben, was atrocious.  His monotone speech and lack of facial expression made me want him to be the killer throughout the film, or at least reveal that he was an actual cyborg robot that had to TALK… LIKE… THIS… and the only movements programmed into it was the frowning of the eyebrows.

My recommendation on this: unless you want to see a couple good performances by Nelson and Vernier, skip it.  Check out another flick instead of this one.


KRUEL 2014 Review Plenty Of Potential… That Wasn’t Used

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Chad Armstrong

President/Co-Owner at LC Films
Chad Armstrong is a writer/producer/director who was born and raised in Long Beach CA. In 2009 he relocated to Alabama where he founded LeglessCorpse, a site dedicated to independent horror films, and soon after created the indie horror distribution company LeglessCorpse Films (currently known as LC Films). Not only is he co-owner of and LC Films he is also President of the newly formed Back Aisle Video label. Chad's most recent feature film is Deimosimine, and currently in development on the feature film Blood Dancers 2: Full Moon.