[REVIEW] ‘The Ice Cream Truck’ – Familiarity Can Be Sweet, But Deadly!

Ryan T. CusickIndie Horror, Movie Reviews, NewsLeave a Comment

This summer Writer and Director Megan Freels Johnston tugs at our inner psyche as she takes us on a chilling journey through a real suburban nightmare. Middle town suburbia has posed as a backdrop for many horror films over the years and continues successfully today. Films such as Halloween, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Carrie, Poltergeist, and The Stepfather have painted a blood splattered image of how eerie and desolate suburbia can be. This year’s summer treat, The Ice Cream Truck, reiterates the divine feelings of terror and serves up a reminder that you’re never safe. Familiarity can be sweet, but deadly.

Deanna Russo & Jeff Daniel Phillips in The Ice Cream Truck. Photo Courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment.


Jeff Daniel Phillips in The Ice Cream Truck. Photo Courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment.

Our story begins as the camera pulls through a tour of a neighborhood. A neighborhood that could be yours or mine; a neighborhood that is quiet and normal…at least for now. Setting the tone is the sinister score resembling beats from our fantastic John Carpenter films. It was love at first sound, thanks to composer Michael Boateng. Suddenly I was tranquil, willingly taken back in time, now methodically transcending through the neighborhood that I once grew up in as this cryptic melody pulsates my eardrums. The score gives life to this motion picture, flooding our heads with instant dread and uncertainty. Johnstons’ tale focuses on Mary (Deanna Russo) moving back to her hometown due to her husband’s job relocation. Allowing her family to stay behind and finish school, unsure of herself and the situation, Mary is all by herself. Lonely and desperate for human interaction, Mary encounters, Jessica (Hilary Barraford), the snoopy neighbor that every street possesses.     

LaTeace Towns-Cuellar, Lisa Ann Walter, and Hilary Barraford in The Ice Cream Truck. Photo Courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment.

Mary is alone and by herself allowing her family to stay back until school is complete in just a few more days. Soon Mary is met by an odd delivery man (Jeff Daniel Phillips) who appears to have a hidden agenda. Her focus is stolen as a vintage ice cream truck continually parades up and down the street. One of the neighbors invites Mary over to her son Max’s (John Redlinger), a high school graduation party. As time progresses, Mary finds herself spending more and more time with young Max. Mary knows she shouldn’t be spending time alone with this vibrant young man, or let alone have thoughts of attraction. Mary’s yearning for her lost youth is clouding her senses as a deranged ice cream man stalks the streets of her neighborhood. Or does a more elusive fear lurk closer than she can ever imagine? Find out on August 18th when The Ice Cream Truck releases to VOD platforms and theaters. 

Emil Johnsen in The Ice Cream Truck. Photo Courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment.

Setting an ominous haze over suburbia, The Ice Cream Truck captures the mood and beauty of an era that I adore and yearn after. Johnston and her team pulled it off, successfully re creating a ploy from my childhood. The film does an impeccable job at executing its multi-genre feel allowing the black comedy to spue out as it works around the confinement and the reality of how encompassing suburban life can be. The acting is nothing to ignore, with Deanna Russo & Emil Johnson’s portrayal of Mary and The Ice Cream Man, is nothing short of remarkable. Russo brings a certain life to her character, Mary, something that I am sure will appeal to many women. Mary is the girl that any guy would want to bring home to mom; sweet, sensible, and still has the eye for adventure. Emil Johnsen conveys a vicious character to life with his stylish-retro uniform and creepy vintage truck, patrolling the neighborhood with a crazed and unremorseful look in his eyes.
The design of the film will empower viewers to use their imagination and interpretation throughout, making it a genuinely frightening reality for some causing a downpour of emotion including laughter and fear. A comedy horror film one minute to a psychological thriller the next, The Ice Cream Truck will not disappoint.

Behind The Scenes of Uncork’d Entertainment’s The Ice Cream Truck. Megan Freels Johnston Directing Emil Johnsen. Photo Courtesy of Heather Cusick.


Behind The Scenes of Uncork’d Entertainment’s The Ice Cream Truck. The cast and crew prepping for the 1st Death Scene! Photo Courtesy of Heather Cusick.


The Ice Cream Truck – Trailer 



-About The Author-

Ryan T. Cusick is a writer for ihorror.com and very much enjoys conversation and writing about anything within the horror genre. Horror first sparked his interest after watching the original, The Amityville Horror when he was the tender age of three. Ryan lives in California with his wife and twelve-year-old daughter, who is also expressing interest in the horror genre. Ryan recently received his Master’s Degree in Psychology and has aspirations to write a novel. Ryan can be followed on Twitter @Nytmare112




Emil Johnsen in The Ice Cream Truck. Photo Courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment.





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Ryan T. Cusick has been a diehard horror fan ever since he watched the original 'The Amityville Horror' at the tender age of three. Ryan travels to horror cons, enjoys open conversations about horror, and attends many Hollywood premieres with filmmakers: Follow him on Twitter at @Nytmare112