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‘Summer of 84’ (review)

Produced by Shawn Williamson, Jameson Parker,
Matt Leslie, Van Toffler, Cody Zwieg

Screenplay by Matt Leslie, Stephen J. Smith
Directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell,
Yoann-Karl Whissell

Starring Graham Verchere, Judah Lewis,
Caleb Emery, Cory Gruter-Andrew,
Tiera Skovbye, Rich Sommer

 

Take one part Stranger Things, mix it with The ‘Burbs, Rear Window, The Monster Squad, The Goonies, Fright Night, Stephen King’s It and Silver Bullet, and a heaping cup of nostalgia and you’ve got Summer of 84, the sophomore feature film by collaborative RKSS.

And that inherently is the problem with the film.  All the elements are there, but ultimately they’re lost in a by the numbers, joyless execution.

The plot centers around a small group of misfit friends who live in Spielberg’s suburbia.

With a series of teen disappearances, the friends begin to speculate a serial killer at work, and conspiracy aficionado Davey (Graham Verchere), suspects that neighbor and police officer Wayne Mackey (Rich Sommer) might be involved in the crimes.

From the synth score to the stereotypical character archetypes to the girl next door to a preposterous third act twist, Summer of 84 is entertaining enough, but never moves past the surface level, instead treading across familiar territory with an unironic wink.

The biggest frustration is that it never lives up to the potential of what it could have been.  With solid performances and direction, Summer of 84 is hardly a new or exciting piece of filmmaking; rather closer in style to a K-Tel greatest hits album than the must see nostalgic trip that you hoped it would be.

 

Summer of 84 is now playing in theaters and
is available on Digital HD and On Demand.

 

 

 

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