Ashley Anderson says the relatability of receiving unwanted spam calls creates the uncertain potential for Cruise’s realism.
Cruise is pure satire. The horror short written and directed by Samuel Rudykoff provides audiences with an outrageous look at what might be happening on the other end of those scam phone calls we’ve all received. It takes us inside a horrifying ordeal on the other end for the individuals making the calls.
In Cruise, Jake (Chad Andrews) and Mark (Simon Pond) are at the mercy of an Executioner (Ray James), who has given them an ultimatum. They have three attempts to give a free cruise away or risk meeting a terrible consequence. The thriller creates an unknown and playful possibility with a common annoyance.
The growing anxiety of Jake and Mark is palpable as the number of attempts ticks down. The dire stakes are masterfully built as the two struggle to give the cruise away. The concept is entirely unethical and outside the bounds of reality, but the desperation of the telemarketers is relatable.
Cruise was screened at the Chattanooga Film Festival on June 23-28, 2022.