“It’s a unique film, a coming of age film about a girl trying deal with her feelings and her unique circumstances,” said JUNE co-writer and film director L Gustavo Cooper.
Finding the love of a family and the acceptance of ones destiny within the darkness of horror is the focus of co-writer Sharon Cobb and co-writer and director L Gustavo Cooper dark drama/horror tale of JUNE. Available now on DVD/Blu-Ray/VOD thru IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT, the film delivers quality and care on every level. Labeled as a horror film, JUNE delves deeper into the struggle of a variety of themes, mounting intrigue and conflicted characters all on the same path to sacrifice, awakening and redemption. Featuring the talents of a balanced and diverse cast including Kennedy Brice (June), Victoria Pratt (Death Valley), Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers), Eddie Jeminson (Ocean’s 11 Franchise), Addy Miller (AMC’s The Walking Dead), and Lance E. Nichols (HBO’s TREME). Lead actress Brice talked about working with the cast, “Victoria and I established a kind of connection. In all of our scenes, there is some sort of connection which was written in the script, but more. The entire cast was so nice and awesome to work with!” With maturity beyond her years, Brice is able to bounce her performance off of veteran performers Pratt, Van Dien and Jeminson. Jeminson especially brings to life the unfeeling and resourceful heel Victor Emmanuel while Pratt and Van Dien embody the love and fear needed for their parenting roles as June’s adopted parents and forming a connection that is drawn out to the final reel.
Cooper utilizes the talents of a seasoned and professional cast to weave a tale that chronicles the main character of June’s journey from sacrificial lamb who is thrust around from home to home while dealing with her deadly lack of emotional control, mysterious powers, hard family life, bullying and growing emotions. “The character of June was written for me around my personality. It’s a coming of age story but its more about a little girl who wants to find a home but something is keeping from doing that. The way it’s written makes you have a real sympathy for the character. It also has elements of bullying which I have had to go through in my life,” said Brice. With themes of tolerance, acceptance, fear (thru the action of bullying and neglect), JUNE connects to certain elements of pain and vulnerability similar to genre films like Mark L. Lester’s FIRESTARTER and Brian DePalma’s CARRIE which add a nostalgic feel for the range of genre fans.
JUNE highlights a very impressive array of visual effects especially during the loss of her emotions and the meltdown sequences. Cooper spoke about that very element, “It’s about a girl trying to control her emotions and she can’t so when she loses control things get destroyed!” With visual and special effects headed by D.J Goller and Brad Manis, Cooper had a chance to play with some visual tools and expand his filmmaking perspective after an already quality body of short films including the critically acclaimed VELVET ROAD and his 2014 DVD release of THE DEVIL INCARNATE which were more narrative based. While Cooper is still young, and a part of the up and coming crop of intelligent filmmakers, he continues to grow as a storyteller creating quality and engaging conflict in the dark world of horror genre filmmaking.
Stylistic JUNE showcases beautiful locations in the surrounding areas of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Whether in lush woods, dysfunctional trailer or the backroad homes, Baton Rouge is a prime location and backdrop to tell June’s story which is acted with such heart, power and passion by the young Brice. “We had a huge undertaking with JUNE with the limited resources we had,” said Cooper reflecting on the scope of the film. Balancing the family struggle and the coming of age aspect, the production enlisted a mysterious and emotional score by composing duo Juliette and Sean Beaven (Death Valley and Lost Highway). This score gives balance to the mood and helps to steady the films pace, a trademark of Copper’s film work.
In all, JUNE takes a slightly different spin on a sub-genre of horror that pulls at the heart strings and rips out the guts! Beauty, tension, pace and performance highlight this effort of indie horror filmmaking that continues to show that the horror genre and quality filmmaking is very alive and continues to thrive. Tremendous support from the filmmaking community, the fans of all ages and the dysfunctional family suggest you check out JUNE and find out what happens when the darkness inside of you comes to the surface in a frightening and emotional way as we search for love and light…
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