RKSS team Francois Simard, Anouk Whissesll, and Yoann-Karl Whissell, the Montreal-based trio responsible for Turbo Kid, bring us a Spielbergian heartfelt film, Summer of 84. This film is their second feature, giving these three filmmakers a unique chance to create something very different than their previous feature, Turbo Kid. Summer of 84 feels like a melting pot, a mixture of IT, The Goonies, and a sprinkle of Stranger Things, the film capturing the trends of the pop-culture phenomena of the 1980’s.
What a great time to be a fifteen-year-old boy! Summer of 84 follows a Davy (Graham Verchere), a teenager living a rudimentary life. We first see him biking around his innocuous cul-de-sac on a paper route…. well at least for now. Davey strongly believes his neighbor Mr. Mackey (Rich Sommer) is the Cape May Slayer. Davey and his three friends – Eats (Judah Lewis), Wood (Caleb Emery) and Curtis (Corey Gruter-Andrew) set out to investigate using one of their games as a cover for their motive. Macky,a good sport, brushes the allegations off as “boys will be boys” and understands more so than Davy’s parents. Is this a ploy? Is Mackey calling Davy’s bluff? Summer of 84 delves into a “who done it” mystery, forcing the once pleasant mood into something much more terrifying and threatening.
With a runtime of 105 minutes, the film does experience a few slow stretches compared to similar properties, such as IT and Stranger Things. However, this becomes a distant memory as the final act lures the audience into false security. To be completely transparent, this is not a rip off of any movie or television show; the film sets a unique tone and then goes to a very dark and unpleasant place. The acting was phenomenal! I loved these characters and I cared about each and everyone. The clichés were not annoying, you had the nerdy kid, the heavyset kid, and a sort of goth kid; everyone played off each other very well.
Overall, all of the performances were rock solid. Attention is paid to period specifics of suburban life, especially with the notable soundtrack and 80’s synth score by Jean-Philippe Bernier and Jean-Nicolas Leupi Le Matos. The soundtrack was not entirely over the top and complimented the scenes and the film as a whole. The picture was beautifully shot, wasn’t choppy and the audience will feel the authenticity of the town, just like a snapshot from the past. If you’re seeking out a bloody, gut-wrenching flick, this is not that type of movie. Fantastic job by all and I am looking forward to future projects from RKSS.
Summer of 84 releases in theaters today, and available on VOD and Digital HD on August 24, 2018. Check out the trailer below.
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