|From REZINATE Entertainment and Yel Productions, the award-winning slasher film MURDER IN THE WOODS comes to drive-ins and theaters nationwide on August 14, 2020, with a Digital and Video on Demand release slated for September 18, 2020. 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 fun yet frightening 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 his grandmother’s (Soledad St. Hilaire) demands, 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 hasn’t 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.
“I realized that this type of film had never been done in English for a mainstream audience, where Latinos and people of color are the leads and they are not portrayed in stereotypical ways,” says Director Luis Iga Garza. “This is why, while developing this indie feature, we were very conscious of making sure that there would be a diverse cast in lead roles.”
“For us, it’s important for this story to be universal, but being Mexican-American, it was also important for the script to include cultural Latino references such as El Dia de los Muertos, The Chupacabras, and other stories that are recognizable,” says writer and producer Yelyna De León. “We purposely showed authentic moments, such as the altars to honor our ancestors, and blessings when we leave the house, memorable experiences that we share with our families.”
Breaking diversity barriers in Hollywood with its multicultural cast and filmmakers, MURDER IN THE WOODS is hailed as an “…eerie …hellacious throwback to old school slasher films” (Humberto Guida, LATV). The horror premiered at the Festival Internacional de Cine de Guadalajara in LA (FICG in LA) at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, thrilling audiences and selling out in 24 hours. 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.