Strasburg Film Festival presents Cleek a tense thriller that follows the titular Jacob Cleek. A quiet and well put together artist, Jacob is a man who highly values his privacy and keeps mostly to himself. Jacob’s quiet life is jeopardized when a secret from his past threatens to be unearthed, and he must do what he can to stop his new life from crumbling down around him.
Director Biography – Gary J Hewitt
Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, Gary Hewitt boasts over 5 years of educational experience in the creative arts industry. Gary has collaborated with NQ Media, HND Creative Industry, BA Film Making & Screenwriting and Higher Photography. Cleek is his first feature film.
When looking for a new project I wanted to do a film about addiction. About one man and his addiction and what happens to that man when that thing he is addicted to is taken away. The problem was that most common Scottish films are filled with Scottish miserablism (My name is Joe, Neds, Trainspotting). In these types of films most people are either addicted to drink or drugs and I knew I had to find something different.
I thought about the worst possible crime in my opinion: murder, and what would happen if someone became addicted to committing that crime. I knew I had a starting point.
My second inspiration came from the very unlikely but hugely successful show ‘Desperate Housewives. Set is the suburbs with it’s white picket fences and huge family homes, it centres on housewives who lie, steal, blackmail, murder and cheat on their partners and each other. The thing that interested me the most about the show was how the characters all hide their dark secrets and put on the perfect “person suits” to hide their true goals. At the end of each episode, people are kept in suspense and that’s definitely one of the secrets of its’ success.
Cleek however was never going to be lighthearted like desperate housewives, it was going to be seriously dark and gritty. An unapologetic, psychological thriller. Cleek is a suspense, roller coaster giving the audience a spine-chilling and taunting ride. I want the audience to feel trapped in the world of Jacob Cleek, feeling claustrophobic as he goes about his business in his cold, creepy, bathroom floor.
Set in a world of addiction, isolation and obsession. While women are going missing in a small town CLEEK centres on Jacob Cleek, a quiet well presented artist, who keeps himself to himself. But Jacob has a secret, and when it starts to break to the surface, he must do what he can to stop his world from crumbling. He has a project, a secret project, that only he works on, always and only on a Tuesday. But, when Norma, a needy old childhood friend, unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep and invades his privacy, Jacob has to face his true self and keep his addiction under control.
Just as Hannibal Lector gave a feeling of unease as he hissed about “eating some liver with some fava beans” we will do the same as Jacob Cleek haunts the streets, eradicating woman off the face of the earth on a Tuesday night.
Cleek builds on it’s atmospheric, restrained version of horror, very rarely showing the audience any killing. The true horror is making you question if you really know your neighbors and presents itself to break the false veneer of safety in your own neighborhood.
I’ve also made a great effort to avoid stereotypical cliches of the Hollywood serial killer / slasher movies. The script offers a serial killing anti-protagonist who we follow on a restricted narrative.