The time of High School Musical has come and gone. Zac Efron just starred as JFK’s doctor in Parkland and is getting ready to premier a pair of R-rated comedies next year. And Vanessa Hudgens is following up roles in Sucker Punch, Spring Breakers, The Frozen Ground, and Machete Kills with a leading turn an abused runaway pregnant teen in Gimme Shelter. Juno, this is not, a notion the film’s first trailer makes abundantly clear.
Based solely on the trailer, the film actually has more in common with last year’s SXSW winner, Short Term 12, albeit a version told more exclusively from the perspective of one of the kids. Unlike Juno MacGuff, Hudgens’s character Apple has no support network. She is the product of a fling her strung out, abusive, prostitute mother had as a teenager. Apple runs away to seek asylum with her well-to-do biological father, played by Brendan Frasier, but subsequently learns she’s pregnant and is turned out on the street. James Earl Jones also figures in as a hospital chaplain who helps secure Apple a place at a shelter home.
Ron Krauss wrote and directed Gimme Shelter, which is based on a true story, his fourth time helming a feature and by far his biggest film to date. The previous high water mark came in the form of the James Spader – starring Alien Hunter, a TV movie which premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2003.
Gimme Shelter is headed for a January 24 release courtesy of Roadside Attractions. Check out the trailer below.