‘Beware of those you trust’
Kruel is a 2015 American horror film written, produced and directed by Robert Henderson. Also known as Cruel
The movie features Kierney Nelson (Octagon), Dakota Morrissey, Adam Vernier (Black Cadillac; Route 666), J. T. Chinn, Elizabeth Brewster, Ansley Gordon, Colleen Henderson, Cooper Henderson, Keegan Henderson, Kenny Logsdon, Rita Manyette, Tom Riska, Tom Siedle, Matthew Weidle, Nicholas Williamson and Ericka Winterrowd.
Jo O’Hare is a typical teenager dealing with typical teenage problems – fighting with her parents and dealing with an unfaithful boyfriend. But Jo soon finds herself with a much bigger problem, when she is accused of recklessly causing the death of a young boy in her care.
The unbearable guilt turns into determination when she sets out to prove that the outrageous neighbourhood ice cream man is really a psychotic monster who is responsible for the disappearance of the boy. With the help of her ex-boyfriend, Jo begins a journey to find the truth, a journey which will lead her to the darkest side of evil and put everyone’s life around her in jeopardy…
Kruel is memorable for featuring the world’s creepiest ice cream man Kruel is a dark film and I don’t just mean that it was thematically disturbing, though it certainly was. Instead, what I mean is that, at times, the film was literally dark! A good deal of the film took place either at night or in unlit rooms and there were more than a few scenes that took place in complete darkness. During those scenes, the screen was totally black and the only way you knew that there was still a film going on was because you could hear the characters running around and screaming. It is an interesting technique, one that is occasionally effective and occasionally annoying.
As for the film itself, it tells the story of Jo (Kierney Nelson), a teenage girl who, after he confesses to cheating on her, breaks up with her dumbass boyfriend, Ben (Dakota Morrissey). In order to deal with her depression, Jo devotes almost all of her time to babysitting. However, it would probably be a lot easier for Jo to do her job if not for the fact that, every few seconds, an ice cream truck comes rolling down the road. The ice cream truck is being driven by Willie (J.T. Chinn) and wow, is Willie ever creepy! It’s not just the makeup though, seriously, that would have terrified me when I was little. It’s also the fact that Willie and his truck always seem to be nearby. Almost as if he’s stalking Jo…
When one of the kids that Jo babysits disappears, she knows that Willie kidnapped him. When the police ignore her, Jo decides to track down Willie herself. Volunteering to help is none other than dumbass Ben. Can Ben help to rescue the child while also repairing his relationship with Jo? Will Jo ever be able to forgive him for cheating on her? And will Willie ever take off his makeup…
Well, actually, I can go ahead and answer one of those questions without spoiling the movie. Willie does take off his makeup when he’s home and, in fact, he spends the majority of the movie not wearing any makeup at all. And, though I’m sure some horror fans would disagree with me on this, I think that’s the right decision for the story that Kruel is trying to tell. It’s definitely more realistic to have Willie look normal (well, normal-ish) when he’s just hanging out around his house. And, when it comes to a film like this, it’s good to try to keep things a little bit realistic. When Kruel is effective, it’s because it makes you wonder what you would do if you ever found yourself in the same situation. When the film is realistic, it makes you wonder if you could survive. If Willie never took off the makeup, he would be too cartoonish to be a real threat.
Despite being a low-budget film and featuring a few noticeably amateurish performances, Kruel has a nightmare-like intensity that serves it well. J.T. Chinn is properly creepy as Willie and Kierney Nelson totally commits to the role of Jo, turning her into a sympathetic and compelling heroine. Keep an eye out for Kruel.
“There isn’t much in the way of gore to take in, and the action, in general, is a tad slow, but if you’re looking for some simple yet effective entertainment, Kruel isn’t a complete dud. It should hold your attention, it should reaffirm your fear of creepy clown-dressed ice-cream men and it should also remind you to not only keep a sharp eye on your child but to avoid hiring reckless youth to look after them as well.” Horrorfreak News
“Hell, the film pretty much lacked any real bloodshed which made it feel almost like a thriller instead of a horror flick. A few good kills would have made this one a hit. Overall, Kruel is a well-made horror flick that has some great atmosphere and an amazing cast. Sadly, it lacks the blood and gore most of us would love to see in our flicks.” Horror Society
” … we can imagine an endless array of potential creepy-clowny type stuff, and then the guy is barely ever on the screen. We have the typical group of young girls, friends of the protagonist and fans of hanging out in their underwear, just like you’d expect from any slasher movie worth its weight in gore, and yet none of them even get attacked, much less killed. And every single instance of a character getting killed (save for one) is quickly turned around and saved…” Horror News
“Once Ben and Jo’s relationship issues are resolved, the film turns into a boring yawn of capture, and get away, 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.” Lifeless Corpse
” …builds up to its very tense finale rather slowly but strongly, and with many surprises along the way. And the directorial effort really emphasizes on atmosphere to keep the viewers glued to their seats. Add to that a strong central performance by Kierney Nelson as the very troubled teen, a strong supporting cast and a creepy villain, and you’ve got yourself a pretty good piece of genre cinema.” Search My Trash
Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida
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