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Trailer for horror movie Del Playa sparks controversy

08.10.2015by: Cody Hamman

On August 5th, a trailer hit YouTube for writer/director Shaun Hart's DEL PLAYA, which follows

a troubled college student who, after being turned down by girls and bullied by his peers, turns to violence.

By the end of the day, a petition had been posted on Change.org demanding that the planned October release of the film be halted, as it comes too closely on the heels of a real life incident that the petition's creator feels the filmmakers are seeking to profit off of and make light of: the May 23, 2014 shooting spree committed by Elliot Rodger near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is also the setting of DEL PLAYA, which takes its name from a street in the area.

The petition's goal is 25,000 signatures, and as of this writing it has 23,360 supporters.

Hart had this to say about the outrage his film's trailer has been met with:

"First and foremost, I would like to publicly apologize to everyone who has been offended in any way by our making of this film. It was never our intent to monopolize on the tragic shootings in Isla Vista that took place last year. While I do admit there is the connection of Santa Barbara, this film is not about Elliot Rodger. The fictional character in the film is not meant to portray anyone in particular. It is meant to portray incidents that take place, not only in Santa Barbara, but across the country on a daily basis. Our intentions were not to make light of such a serious issue, but to engage our audience in an active discussion about bullying and violence."

"As a graduate of UCSB and a former resident of Del Playa, that day was a knife to my heart. For me, the actions of one individual tainted a lot of good memories of an innocent time and brought darkness to a place that should only be home to the hopes and dreams of the young. For all touched by the tragedy at DP, know this: I stand right there with you. And share love and compassion for our fallen Gauchos."

Having watched the trailer, I'm somewhat shocked that the petition has received so many signatures, as DEL PLAYA appears to be a rather standard slasher. Even if it took some inspiration from the real murders, it seems to have taken just as much inspiration from HALLOWEEN and/or its remake. Ultimately, the petition will really only succeed in bringing more attention to the movie.

Check out the trailer below and see what you think.

Extra Tidbit: Does DEL PLAYA look like something you'd watch?
Source: Variety

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