Cruel & Unusual

(Canada, 2014, 95 mins, DCP)
CAST David Richmond-Peck, Bernadette Squibal, Michelle Harrison, Michael Eklund, Richard Harmon
The filmmakers will attend opening week screenings.


In this dark, twisted BC mystery thriller, a man finds himself condemned to a special place in hell, blamed for his wife’s murder – a fact he refuses to accept. His punishment is to eternally re-live that last dreadful day - unless he can prove his innocence…?

Shot in Langley and the ominous confines of the disused Riverview hospital near Coquitlam, Cruel & Unusual is an impressive debut feature from Vancouver writer-director Merlin Dervisevic. Treating its fantastical theme in a realist mode, the film is both an allegorical exploration of guilt, denial and despair, a pitch black satire on therapy culture, and a teasing whodunnit with a clever twist in its tail.

Like Stress Position, Cruel & Unusual shows a local filmmaker tackling weighty themes on a tight budget through ingenious storytelling and eye-catching cinematic acumen.