We have been talking about KNUCKLEBALL a lot lately as it invades festivals and more in the coming weeks. Well today it’s Canadian distributor Raven Banner has announced some limited release dates in the theaters. Hailed as a “dark HOME ALONE’ KNUCKLEBALL comes from Michael Peterson and will be in theaters across Canada starting September 28th! The story follows a young boy fighting for survival and stars Munro Chambers and Luca Villacis.
When a young boy visits his isolated grandfather, tragedy follows, and a murderous storm of family secrets is unleashed, in Michael Peterson’s Knuckleball.
Henry isn’t thrilled about alone-time with his farm-owning grandpa Jacob. There’s no wi-fi, not even a phone. It’s winter, and the most interesting thing to do is shovel manure. But his parents are at a family funeral, and that sounds even worse. Still, mom has a nagging, worried feeling about the visit, and Henry soon discovers her intuition was literally dead-on.
After briefly bonding with the old fellow over their shared interest in baseball, Henry wakes up one morning to find Jacob has died in his sleep. And a neighbour – who’d glowered at Henry as he began to enjoy his time with his grandpa – suddenly turns predator.
Thus, the scene is set in Peterson’s psycho-thriller Knuckleball. What follows is an unveiling of lurid family secrets, and a fight for Henry’s life, using ingenuity, trickery and, yes, pitching skills, to keep a psychopath at bay.
Dubbed “Home Alone meets The Shining” during its debuts at the Calgary Underground Film Festival and Montreal’s Fantasia Festival (winning an Audience Choice award), Knuckleball stars Luca Villacis (Channel Zero) as Henry, and reunites TURBO KID stars Munro Chambers (Degrassi: The Next Generation) as the predatory neighbour Dixon, and Canadian film legend Michael Ironside (Starship Troopers, Total Recall) as Jacob.
Calgary-native Peterson shot the film in various snowy Alberta locations, including Fort Saskatchewan and the outskirts of Edmonton.
“It is like Home Alone minus the comedy,” says Peterson of his second feature (following the 2011 comedy Lloyd The Conqueror). “I have kids, so the inspiration was there to channel the fear I have as a parent. It was actually pretty easy to write in that regard, because it’s one of the first emotions you have, the fear that there will come a time when you won’t be able to protect them.
“That drove this story from the beginning, for me and my co-writer Kevin Cockle.”
Even having assembled the story and knowing how it turns out, Peterson says, “I still kind of cringe at parts of the story when I see them, the child-in-peril vibe is so strong. We really walked a line with the movie, where we get disturbingly close to the edge of what can happen and then pull back. You will find yourself at the edge of your seat.”
Opening across Canada
September 28, October 2 – Edmonton – Metro Theatre
October 2 – Calgary – Globe Cinema (one week)
October 12 – Toronto – Carlton Cinema (one week)
October 12 – Ottawa – Mayfair Theatre (one week)
More cities to follow