Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kelsey T. Howard|
|Produced by||Kelsey T. Howard
|Written by||Eugene Hess
Paul T. Murray
|Music by||Danny Saber|
|Edited by||Andrew Cohen|
|Distributed by||Indican Pictures|
Cruel World is a 2005 American horror comedy film co-produced and directed by Kelsey T. Howard. The film is about a psychotic man who loses a reality game show and subsequently kills the host. He uses the house where the show took place to film his own reality show. In the show, several contestants perform challenges, and the losers are killed rather than being sent home.
Cathy, the former star of a reality show similar to "The Bachelor", is now married and living with her husband in the house where the show took place. The house still has several secret rooms and passages, as well as a host of cameras all over the estate.
Philip Markham, who was a contestant on the show, comes to the home for a visit. Cathy is initially put off by his odd behavior, and feels more and more uncomfortable as Philip reminisces about the show. Philip tells Cathy he has sent out applications to colleges all over the country for his own reality show, which will take place in Cathy's house. Philip then murders Cathy and her husband.
Later, the contestants—four men and five women—arrive. Philip reveals to them that after the first night he will not feed them. They go through different challenges, including locking themselves in coffins and trying to find the key inside. The challenges are more excessive than most reality show challenges, and often try to instill great fear into the contestants.
Initially, contestants are voted off the show; however, as the game goes on, they realize what is going on and start trying to escape. In either case they are killed either by Philip or his assistant, his brother Claude. Gradually all the contestants are eliminated except Jenny, on whom Claude has a crush. After Jenny wins, she is taken back to the house and guarded by Claude. Knowing that Claude likes her, Jenny begins flirting with him, telling him that she loves him and kissing him. Claude lets her go, but Philip finds out and captures Jenny before she can escape. Jennifer's attempted escape attracts the attention of the police; Philip kills one, then escapes himself, telling Claude to stay. As Philip escapes, police enter the house and arrest Claude.
The final scene shows Jenny and a friend walking into a monorail when a message appears on her cell phone: "Please Leave Your Cell Phones By The Door". Philip appears on her phone and a hand grabs her by her shoulder, ending the movie.
- Edward Furlong as Philip Markham
- Laura Ramsey as Jenny
- Susan Ward as Ashley
- Daniel Franzese as Claude Markham
- Andrew Keegan as Bobby
- Sanoe Lake as Ruby
- Aimee Garcia as Gina
- Joel Michaely as Jack
- Nate Parker as Techno
- Nicole Bilderback as Mikko
- Brian Geraghty as Collin
- Jaime Pressly as Catherine Anderson
- James Patrick Stuart as Deputy Grady
Cruel World was released on DVD April 8, 2008.
James Bowman of The New York Sun called it "a dreadful mess of a movie" that unsuccessfully tried to mix satire with horror. Bloody Disgusting rated it 2/5 stars and wrote that the boring kills failed to make up for the poor writing and execution. Scott Foy of Dread Central rated it 1/5 stars and called it "simply an abject failure any which way you cut it." Mike Long of DVD Talk rated it 1.5/5 stars and wrote that the film had "an awesome concept" but "simply doesn't work."
- "Cruel Word". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- "Cruel World". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
- LaPorte, Nicole (2004-07-20). "Maverick, Primetime roll on 'Cruel World'". Variety. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- Siebalt, Joshua (2008-04-07). "DVD Releases: Parking Garage of the Dead". Dread Central. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- Bowman, James (2006-10-27). "Too Real for Reality TV, Too Fake for the Screen". The New York Sun. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- "Cruel World (V)". Bloody Disgusting. 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- Foy, Scott (2008-04-17). "Cruel World (2008)". Dread Central. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- Long, Mike (2007-04-17). "Cruel World". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2014-01-15.