What is Cruel is what has become of Ed Furlong's career

Cruel World

on October 27, 2006 by Tim Cogshell
Ed Furlong plays a disgruntled, and apparently insane, failed reality show contestant who decides to have his revenge by hijacking the debut of a new reality show about a gaggle of college coeds in a luxurious mansion isolated in a desert estate and pick them off, one-by-one. The premise of the TV show pilfers elements from reality television far and wide, including Big Brother, in which contestants can't leave the house; Survivor, in which contestants strike alliances and can win immunity; and Fear Factor, in which contestants are pitted against each other in disgusting and dangerous events. Collectively it's enough to make you want someone to kill them all.

The film lifts chunks of narrative and scenarios from better movies, too. The opening sequence, which features Jaime Pressly (TV's My Name Is Earl ) in a cameo, cops the opening scene from the original Scream, in which Drew Barrymore met her demise. But Pressly is no Barrymore, and Furlong is scary for all the wrong reasons.

In fact, the only truly scary thing about this movie is the depth to which Furlong's career has fallen. One remembers him as the sassy kid from T2, not to mention in more than a few films in which he was quite good, including American Heart opposite Jeff Bridges; Before and After opposite Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson; and the John Waters cult favorite Pecker. Here he's probably no worse than the material. The material is awful. Distributor: Indican
Cast: Ed Furlong, Andrew Keegan, Susan Ward, Brian Geraghty, Laura Ramsey, Nicole Bilderbeck, Daniel Franzese and Jaime Pressly
Director: Kelsey T. Howard
Screenwriters: Eugene Hess, Paul Lawrence and Paul T. Murray
Producers: Kelsey T. Howard and Todd Nealey
Genre: Thriller
Rating: Rated R for strong sadistic violence and gore, language and some sexuality
Running time: 88 min.
Release date: October 27, 2006

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