By Liz Lopez
From Rezinate Entertainment and Yel Productions, the horror slasher film “Murder in the Woods” comes to select drive-ins and theaters nationwide and on August 28, it arrives in Austin at the Galaxy Highland. Directed and produced by Mexican filmmaker Luis Iga Garza (The Call) and written and produced by Yelyna De León (Will and Grace, A Better Life), the thriller stars an exclusively multicultural cast in non-stereotypical roles, including José Julián (A Better Life, Shameless), Jeanette Samano (ISA, Female Fight Squad), Chelsea Rendon (Vida, Bright), Catherine Toribio (Jane the Virgin), Jordan Diambrini (The Outfield) and Kade Wise (Empire). It also features Danny Trejo (Machete), Soledad St. Hilaire (Beatriz at Dinner), Kurt Caceres (Better Call Saul, Dexter) and Rolando Molina (American Dad!, Next Friday).
“Murder in the Woods” is centered on a group of college friends who plan a getaway to celebrate a birthday party at a desolate cabin in the woods. Against the demands of his grandmother (Soledad St. Hilaire), Jesse (José Julián), a loner-type decides to go on a trip with his friends. He is immediately smitten with Fernanda (Jeanette Samano), a sweet girl from Chicago whom he has not seen in years. She is in town visiting her loudmouth cousin, Chelsea (Chelsea Rendon), who is ready to celebrate her birthday and plans to let loose with her boyfriend Gabe (Jordan Diambrini). Tagging along at the last second are Jule (Kade Wise), the class clown pothead, and the very out-of-his-league Celeste (Catherine Toribio). Soon after arriving to the mysterious cabin in the woods, the group of teens discover the dark secret it holds, which forces them to fight for their lives.
The film premiered at the Festival Internacional de Cine de Guadalajara in LA (FICG in LA) at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. During the festival run, the film won nine awards, including Best Film at the LA Skins Film Festival and XicanIndie Film Fest, in addition to Best Supporting Actor (Kade Wise), Best Sound Design and Best Soundtrack at the Macabre Faire Film Festival in New York, as well as the Panavision New Filmmaker Grant.
A review of the film will be posted soon and an interview to follow in the coming weeks with filmmakers/cast members.
Director/producer/ Executive Producer/Editor/ Visual Effects Supervisor: Luis Iga Garza
Writer/producer/ Casting: Yelyna De León
Co-Producer: Hugh Aodh O’Brien
Associate Producers: Soledad St. Hilaire, Chelsea Rendon, Ryan Gilmour
Executive Producer: Abbey Cañas, Alejandro Cañas, Marcela Salguero, Wilson Salguero, Thomas Lo, Claudia Castañeda, Sonia Castañeda, Robert Chartier
Director of Photography: Nicholas Albert, Anirudh Gattu, Steven Holleran
Editors: Ryan Liebert
Production Designer: Ricardo Orta
Music Composers: Gerardo Garcia Jr., Isabelle Engman
Costume Designer: Tiffany Estrada
Production and Post-production Sound: Di Lee, Darrel Tung, Sam Mutch, Kevin Vargas
Runtime: 89 min
The film is slated for a Digital and Video on Demand release on September 18, 2020. www.murderinthewoodsmovie.com