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SUMMIT (2013)

A micro-budget dissection of horror genre tropes in a slow-burn, character-focused story. Five college friends hit the road for a ski trip. When they end up at the wrong location and can't backtrack because of the intense cold and secluded surroundings, they decide to take shelter in an abandoned house overnight. When they wake in the morning, things are not quite what they seemed and it's too late to turn back. 

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Critic Reviews

"Raia has chosen to veer away from gimmicky themes of traditional slasher movies to concentrate on the characters. ...what Summit lacks in polish it certainly makes up for in creativity with Raia cleverly playing with tension and slow-pacing to produce a suspenseful thriller that will both shock and unsettle you." -Donna Kelly, ScreenRelish

" ...character developments and relationship complications lead to a boil as things spiral out of control and lead to an ending that could not have been seen coming at any point in the film yet was slowly built to from the first few scenes. There's an excellent sense of character and direction in the writing that held my interest the entire duration of the movie." - Jason McFigginsThat One Review  

"Despite a low-budget, Raia (and cinemtographer John L. Murphy) make great use of color — and lack thereof — and do a quality job as showcasing the remote, snowy landscapes which surround our protagonists. Tension builds slowly, but reaches a fever pitch once shit starts going down. The eventual murder is bloody, tragic, and unexpected, and the interplay between the characters up to that point is realistic and relatable. Right from the start, this is obviously a more polished production than most similarly budgeted efforts." - Doug Tilley, Daily Grindhouse

"...there is very little I could knock Summit for. I respect what Raia was doing with it, the acting is great, and so is the cinematography. It's a very well made indie, and definitely worth checking out to see how its unique divergence from expectations works for you." - Cody Hamman, Life Between Frames

"Raia proves herself to be a quick — hell, an immediate — study when it comes to the little things that make a big difference : the various explorations of the cabin that our erstwhile “heroes” undertake are uniformly well-shot and reasonably fraught with tension (even if there’s no real payoff to be had from any of them), the “driving-around-lost” scenes are very nicely-executed indeed, and small, seemingly throwaway plot points are revisited later with near-devastating effect. All in all this is smart stuff that rewards viewers who pay careful attention to even the most minor goings-on..." - Ryan C, Trash Film Guru  

"The cast is excellent, the production value is top notch, and the mood and atmosphere created are amazing. Director Christina Raia clearly has talent and a good visual eye." - 411Mania

The Film

Summit is a feature length Horror film. It pays homage to slasher films in its seemingly cliche set-up, but takes this typical narrative into a more nuanced and character-driven direction. The film works on a face value level as an eerie thriller that will unsettle you, but is also a deeper film that explores human nature and relationships. It aspires to be a notable addition to not only the horror genre, but independent cinema in general.

Summit was shot on location in the Berkshires over 16 days, only 12 of which were actual shooting days, in January 2013. It was shot on the Canon C300 with a budget of $20,000, just over half of which was raised through a successful audience-building Kickstarter campaign. Post-Production was completed in November 2014. The making of this film was a passion project by all involved; it had to be because it was shot in grueling conditions of mostly negative degree weather and long shooting days and nights. The making of the film is an epic tale in itself, one that Director Christina Raia released as a blog series, titled #SHOOTINGSUMMIT, for fans during the film’s first production anniversary. The film had a short but impactful festival run in 2015 and was released on VOD in January 2016, during the 3 year anniversary of principal photography.

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Screenings & Awards

2015 Manhattan Film Festival - *Winner Best Horror Film

2015 Rhode Island International Film Festival (Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror FF) - *Winner Best Director

2015 Scare-A-Con Film Festival

2015 Unreal Film Festival (Invitational, out-of-competition)

2016 Macabre Faire Film Festival - *Winner Best Sound, Nominated Best Feature, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor

Director's Statement

Growing up as a huge horror film fan, I wanted to set my stamp on the genre. Slashers of the 70s, notably work by John Carpenter, initially caught my attention, but Suspense from the likes of Hitchcock and the writers/directors behind the best of The Twilight Zone won my heart and turned my visceral interest into a creative aspiration.

When conceiving the idea behind Summit, I had felt that the genre had been stale for a long time: nothing but unnecessary gore and regurgitated formulas and character tropes. I wanted to play with that formula, comment on it and particularly the characters within it, and bring something new to it at the same time. With my truly indie spirit, unique perspective, and affinity for characters, dialogue and subtext, I felt that I could bring not only a fresh style that plays with tension and slow-pacing, but also an emotional depth that could reach viewers beyond the confines of the genre.

The Team

Writer, Director, Producer:
Christina Raia

John L Murphy

Editor & AD
Matt Gershowitz

Lauren A. Kennedy,
Rob Ceriello,
Emma Barret,
Ricardo Manigat,
Ryan Kramer

Full crew & cast list on IMDb. Thank you to our Crowdfunding Backers.