Cruel & Unusal

Hypothetical Netflix Rating: 3.4 out of 5

There are, believe it or not, some stories that can’t be pinned up nicely in a summary or review. Part of what makes a good story is the way it unfolds. That is true of 2014’s Cruel & Unusal.

Edgar, played by David Richmond-Peck is reliving the same day over and over. It’s the day he killed his wife. Edgar is in Hell, literally. Never murder your wife on Groundhog’s Day, Edgar. Rookie move. Okay, they never say it’s hell, but it probably is. This place has layers, all the people stuck there with them have similar offenses. Oh yeah, he’s not alone.

After every repeat of the day, Edgar gets kicked out into a prison/psych ward where everyone gathers together and a woman on an old school TV set asks them one by one to say why they are there. Yeah, sounds like hell.

What really sold this movie was David Richmond-Peck. He seems like a nice enough guy to begin with, but over the course of the movie, my opinion of him roller-coastered greatly and boy did I love the ride. He’s a slimy dirtball in search of redemption, what’s not to love?

This is the first full length movie for writer-director Merlin Dervisevic but I hope it’s not the last. And not just because his name is Merlin.

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