Summer of 84 (2018)

Director: Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell

Writer: Matt Leslie, Stephen J Smith (Screenplay)

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

 

Plot: After suspecting that their police officer neighbor is a serial killer, a group of teenage friends spend their summer spying on him and gathering evidence, but as they get closer to discovering the truth, things get dangerous.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Stranger Things Only Duller

 

Story: Summer of 84 starts when Davey Armstrong (Verchere) learns that his neighbourhood has a potential serial killer after a string of boy his own age have gone missing, joined by his best friends Tommy (Lewis), Dale (Emery) and Curtis (Gruter-Andrew), they investigate the number one suspect that Davey believes the killer is, local model police officer Wayne Mackey (Sommer).

Following Wayne’s daily routine to learn the boys start to gather evidence, join by the dream next door neighbour Nikki (Skovbye) the little gang has one summer to locate the serial killer and save themselves from the fate of many in the neighbourhood.

 

Thoughts on Summer of 84

 

Characters – Davey Armstrong is the leader of the group, he is the one that suspected his neighbour and gets his group to help him investigate, he has the romantic angle without making him the most resourceful of the group. Tommy tries to play off like the bad boy of the group, he seems to like ‘your mum’ jokes and while his character seems different you will get tired of his mentality. Dale is the big guy, he has his own problems at home with his mother over committed working hours. Curtis is the fourth member of the gang, he seems like the smartest though doesn’t get much put out there. Nikki is the girl next door that the boys who have a crush on, she has been friends with Davey for years and it becomes clear there is something between the two, just before she goes off because of her family’s divorce. Wayne Mackey is the police officer suspected of being the killer by the kids, he is a lonely man that does a lot of gardening which makes him seem more suspicious, but with his place in the law one that is harder to suspect.

PerformancesThe performances from the young actors are good for the most part, we believe their chemistry, determination to solve the missing persons case and this being a summer of adventure. The problem comes up more when we look at the script that leaves the dialogue a times feeling flat between them.

StoryThe story here follows a group of five teenagers that start investigating the disappearance of local school boys believing to be proving who the killer truly is, even when everyone doesn’t believe them. The story has the coming of age vibes that ‘Stranger Things’ & ‘It’ have bought us with the 80s background and pop-culture references coming left right a centre. You could mix in an element of ‘Rear Window’ giving us the idea of paranoia about someone being a killer too. The problems with the story come from the lazy insulting jokes between the boys and the fact we never get to a stage where anybody could be the killer, a healthy twist in the story would bring us a few suspects which could add doubt to the suspicions going on. By trying to capitalize on the in era that has struck up the fans of recent years, again this gives us weakness because kids wouldn’t be able to watch this and adults just wouldn’t enjoy this on the levels of the previous 80s memory lane films.

Horror/MysteryThe horror elements in this film don’t ever feel scary or worrying, the neighbourhood never feels in terror even after double figures of boys going missing, the mystery never feels strong either as we watch the boys investigate one person over anybody else seemingly even looking at the case.

SettingsThe 80s setting works for the most part, though it has become one we have seen too often in recent years, we hit a small-town America which is meant to have model citizens only to have a killer living among them.

Special EffectsThe effect are simple enough, we don’t need them for the most part, but when used they seem faultless.


Scene of the Movie –
discovering the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The banter jokes miss too often.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie trying to capture the magic of Stranger Things only to miss for the most part, it has a style which feels like a kids movie only to be sold to adults.

 

Overall: Doesn’t have that sparkle.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – # – 28 Days Later (2002) Revisited

Director: Danny Boyle

Writer: Alex Garland (Screenplay)

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, Noah Huntley

 

Plot: Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.


Tagline – The Days Are Numbered

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Modern Horror

 

Story: 28 Days Later starts in the aftermath of a virus being unleashed, Jim (Murphy) wakes from a coma in a hospital unaware of what has occurred, searching the empty streets of London, it doesn’t take him long to run into an infected member of society, where Selena (Harris) and Mark (Huntley) who explain what has happened to the country.

After an attack by the infected Jim and Selena are left alone searching the streets of London they discover Frank (Gleeson) and his daughter Hannah (Burns) hidden in an apartment building. Together the four of them target a radio transmission by the military where Major Henry West (Eccleston) answers their calls, but not everything is as it seems from the military outpost.

 

Thoughts on 28 Days Later

 

Characters – Jim is the man waking to the destroyed, infected ruled world, he like us learns the full extent of the damage and as the film rolls on he becomes tougher, prepared to fight back in this world. there isn’t too much more to Jim as a character other than this. Selena is one of the two people that rescue Jim, she is tough as nails, doesn’t blink when it comes to killing the infected be it the long-term infected or the ones that are about to turn. For the first half of the film she is a fantastically strong character being the one of the group you would fear the most, the more she opens up to others in her life and a future other than surviving, the weaker she becomes. Frank is a caring father, he has done everything to protect his daughter during the outbreak, he knows he needs help to get to the rescue point because going along would be too risky with just his daughter. Major West leads the military outpost, he has promised his men salvation, but it isn’t what you would expect it to be, strict leader, his men will follow all his orders.

PerformancesCillian Murphy got his big break after this film, his performances and transformation in his character are brilliant. Naomie Harris comes in here strong from the moment she hits the screen you see just how strong she is going to make her performance. Brendan Gleeson is great in the supporting role, while the same can be said about Eccleston too.

StoryThe story follows a small group of survivors in an infection riddled world as they look for safety. This is generally the purpose of all infected or zombie movies, it keeps things simple and makes the tension rise as we do get a chance to meet and support the group of survivors on their adventure. This is easily one of the more intense stories once everything goes on with the music adding to the final sequence of the movie. The story does have two endings with both being just as strong as the other too depending on how you believe the story should become.

Horror/Sci-FiThe infected bring us the villainous monsters in the film, they are runners, which means they won’t stop till they get you, only hiding or killing them will stop them, the infected are not the only monsters in this film though as we focus on the human affects of the outbreak. The sci-fi side of the film shows us just how quickly the world could change with an outbreak of a virus which turns people into the undead searching for food, in humans.

SettingsThe film is set in London to start with, getting the empty streets is an achievement in itself, the haunting idea of London being abandoned will be one you will remember, the travelling side, well we have seen before with the empty sequences being what makes this film stand out.

Special EffectsThe effects come from the practical world which we like to see because it makes everything feel real to us the audience.


Scene of the Movie –
The mansion final.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I do feel Selena should have stayed stronger through the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best modern zombie movies, it is intense at times and the visually creation of the world is amazing.

 

Overall: Masterpiece of Modern horror.

Rating