CRUSH THE SKULL
Directed by Viet Nguyen
On the surface, Ollie and Blair are a typical fun, young couple – comfortable enough to be constantly picking at each other’s flaws, secure enough to start making long-term plans together. They just happen to earn a dishonest living by breaking and entering into poorly secured, upper-class homes.
After falling into debt when their last job goes comically, horribly awry, they find themselves having to pull one more last job. It sounds easy enough: a B&E of a secluded vacation home in the mountains, perfectly-suited for Blair and Ollie’s skill set. Unfortunately for them, the job was set up and planned by Blair’s irresponsible, unprepared, hothead younger brother, Connor. Ollie and Connor have a contentious history, but if Ollie wants to repay his debt, he doesn’t have much choice but to follow Connor’s lead and fall in with the rest of the idiots on his so-called crew.
Of course, the “easy target” turns out to be anything but easy—the break-in is no problem, but the crew is immediately trapped inside, unable to break back out. As they explore the house for a solution, it becomes clear that this seemingly beautiful and innocuous home is actually a sadistic torture den, a mind-screwing maze of dead-ends and wrong turns, with an unseen killer separating them from one another and stalking them from the shadows. Ollie, Blair, and the rest of the would-be robbers now have to fight for their lives.
Viet Nguyen, an Austin native, graduated from film school at the University of Texas and now resides in Los Angeles. His feature film debut, Crush the Skull, is currently making the festival rounds and recently picked up the Nightfall Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival and Best Narrative Feature at the San Diego Asian Film Festival. Viet has also directed a number of projects in television and new media, including CW’s hit series iZombie, the Veronica Mars spin-off series Play It Again, Dick, and the documentary By the Fans: The Making of the Veronica Mars Movie.