Cruel World – Reality TV just got real.
In this Game, Fear is the only Factor.
Eight Former realty show winners are brought to a mansion to compete for $1 Million and the ultimate prize of Grand Champion.
Following his dismissal from a television reality show, a deranged young man (Edward Furlong) lures a group of co-ed’s seeking fame to his rented abode, telling them they will be the stars of a new show he is creating. What the contestants do not know is that when they are voted out of this reality show, they are ‘voted’ out for good.
We’ve all, at some point been taken in by a reality show. I think it’s safe to say that most have taken a small peek, even if it’s five minutes to ease the curiosity of what someone else’s life seems through the eye of a camera lens. It’s human nature to want to know. Do the other half, really have it better? So, when I found this movie, Cruel World starring Edward Furlong and Jamie Pressly, I was a little intrigued by the blurb.
Honestly, other than the expectation of enjoying Edward Furlongs, great acting ability, I went into this just expecting very little. It’s not the first time, this line has been taken, so I was expecting the standard run of the mill.
Happily, I was surprised and have since watched Cruel World a few times. The storyline is continuous and well written. The acting is believable, and the cast complimented each other well. There was someone there, nearly all of us could relate to as watches. There was the ‘bad boy’ with the gentleman streak, the over confident, poetic type, the shy types, the in-girl creatively setting her own path, the confident outspoken girl, the tomboy type and the ‘southern’ bell. Then there were the hosts, Philip Markham, (beautifully played by Edward Furlong) and his brother Claude, (well played by Daniel Franzese) who are both are socially outcasts. No character is simply ‘black and white.’
Philip was rejected by Catherine on national TV, (in a tv show like the Bachelorette) and Claude, who is mentally disabled has also been outcast, not fitting into the ‘in’ crowd of society. Together they form a killer-tactics team. With Philips brains, and Claude’s brawn as you watch, you do wonder if any of the college students will survive.
As time goes on, the students realize this is more than a game, and they are playing for more than just the cash – They are playing for their lives. Locked into the property, with no way to contact the outside world, they have one choice to make. Play Philips twisted games or die. This is when, the real test of character begins – Especially when Philip has the contestant killing off each other.
Finally, Jenny tricks Claude and escapes, only to flag down Philip, who, with the help of Claude ‘drags’ Jenny (played by Laura Ramsey) kicking and screaming back to the house for the grand finale. However, her screaming does not go unnoticed, and soon Deputy Grady is in pursuit, only to meet with his own horrible fate at the hands of Philip. Knowing the ‘gig’ is up Philip leaves Claude to ‘finish’ Jenny off. But the story doesn’t end there.
Honestly, I highly recommend this movie. It is ‘uncomplicated’ so you don’t miss out on the action while trying to figure out some unnecessary underlying plot line. The action is constant and the brilliant acting (especially by the lead Edward Furlong) brings it all together nicely. It may have been made in 2005, and made for an estimated budget of $2,000,000 USD but it is still relevant and worth a watch today. In my opinion I don’t think director Kelsey T Howard could have picked a better cast. Cruel World is definitely deserving of a place in any Suspense, Thriller lover’s movie collection.