A Wright State grad’s psychological tale of torture and triumph is heading to prime time.
Angelle Haney Gullett, a former Dayton Daily News writer and editorial assistant, said cases like that of now-deceased Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro — who held women in bondage for years — helped inspire her to write “Her Worst Nightmare.”
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The movie premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26 on the Lifetime cable network.
It is the first of Haney Gullett’s screenplays to be made into a movie.
“I hope the movie connects to people and I hope that it opens the door for me to write more stories, tell more people’s truth,” Haney Gullett, now a Los Angeles resident, said. “It is exciting the first time you see your words being brought to life on the screen you’ve been watching all of your life.”
Haney Gullett, also an actress and voice artist, developed a love of the written word from her parents, Sue Kauth, now of Greenville, and Tom Johnson, now of Beavercreek.
The film tells the story of Dakota (Claire Blackwelder) following her rescue from a basement where she was abused by her kidnapper. Dakota tries to pick up the pieces of her life only to discover that she is being stalked.
The movie is set at an unnamed Midwest college. Haney Gullett said she drew from her time at Wright State and her time in journalism for the film.
“Her best friend is a cub reporter for the college newspaper and talks about FOA requests and public records,” she said with a laugh.
Once a fixture in Dayton’s music scene and a Dayton Daily News club and bar reviewer, Haney Gullett and her husband, musician Steven Gullett, moved to Los Angeles in September 2007.
The film is not about the violence of Dakota’s captivity, but what happens next, Haney Gullett said.
“It is easy to take a moment of violence,” she said. “It is more interesting to find the drama in what happens afterwards as we survive.”