Following its U.S. debut at SXSW in March, a new clip has surfaced from Rebecca Johnson‘s Honeytrap (2014), a revenge-drama film based on the South London murder of teenager Shakilus Townsend in July 2008.
Also known as the “honeytrap murder,” 16-year-old Townsend was lured to his death by a girl he really liked named Samantha Joseph, who was 15 at the time.
Townsend thought Joseph felt the same way about him, however Joseph was dating him and her older ex-boyfriend, Danny McLean, simultaneously.
When McLean found out, he dumped her. So in an attempt to get him back, she made a pact with McLean that she would bring Townsend to him for an ambush.
Joseph led Townsend to McLean, who was with his brothers and friends (members of a South London gang). He was beaten with baseball bats, stabbed six times in the chest, and later died from huge amounts of blood loss.
The group, including Joseph, were all convicted of murder in 2009.
Based on this case, Honyeytrap takes the POV of Samantha Joseph, whose name is changed to Layla (played by SKINS‘ actress Jessica Sula). See the synopsis below:
Yearning for love and status, fifteen-year-old Layla is swept into a whirlwind romance with self-styled gang leader/rapper Troy (Lucien Laviscount) — and then spat out the other side. Desperate to win Troy back, Layla offers to set up the boy who’s in love with her to be killed… When the forces she sets in motion start to collide, Layla must choose: between two boys, between desire and friendship, between power and connection to another human being. We have not seen a character like Layla take centre stage before and it is time her story was told.
In the clip below, we see a brief interaction between Layla and her mother (Naomi Ryan), with whom she’s traveled from her native Trinidad to live.
Also written by director Rebecca Johnson, the independent feature garnered critical acclaim at the London Film Festival and SXSW.
The film additionally stars Ntonga Mwanza as Shaun, the boy Layla betrays.
Honeytrap was produced by Bright Pictures and Finite Films, in association with Creativity Capital. Watch a full trailer below.