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The story follows Matthew Hudson, who is routinely abused by his stepfather. He has a “crush” on Claire Rhoades during high school. His love for Claire rides a fine line between persistence and obsession and, when Matthew is jumped by her boyfriend, things turn violent. Five years go by and now Claire discovers that her high school stalker has returned for her.
The film has been surrounded by controversy from the moment the filmmakers released a trailer on YouTube in 2015. There were claims made by several people who saw he trailer that the movie was based on college student Elliot Rodger who, in 2014, killed six other students and wounded 14 other individuals in Isla Vista, near the University of California Santa Barbara Campus before killing himself. The controversy became so heated that a petition was created on Change.org by a former UCSB student, garnering approximately 30,000 signatures to protest the film from being released with major publications such as Variety and The Huffington Post reporting on the story.
As part of his efforts to do his part and be socially responsible, writer/director ShaunHart has decided that a portion of the film’s profits will go to Arts for Humanity!, a non-profit based in Santa Barbara, California. Founded in 1997, this group empowers low income at-risk youth, people with disabilities, and the elderly through participatory performing and visual arts programs. They bring opportunities in the creative arts directly to marginalized community members through art programs that are provided to social service agencies through Santa Barbara County.
“We so appreciate being the local non-profit selected for this generous support. We have a 20-year history of providing heartfelt and much needed creative arts programs to our community," says Karsen Lee Gould, Creative/Executive Director for Arts for Humanity!. “We often work with people who may feel like outsiders. Sometimes, darkness is just looking for the light.”