Sunday 6 January 2019

Movie Review: SUMMER OF 84 (2018)

Summer of 84

Since the monumental success of both the new IT movie and TV phenomenon Stranger Things, the public appetite for all things 80's appears to be insatiable. Summer Of 84 is a coming-of-age meets murder mystery movie, featuring a group of teenagers in the American suburbs who find themselves investigating a local serial killer.

After the initial and obvious comparisons with the aforementioned IT and Stranger Things, as the story develops, it starts to have a flavour reminiscent of both Fright Night and the more modern movie Disturbia, mainly due to those film's cores of having a kid spying on the neighbours, believing something sinister is afoot. This story revolves around a young kid and his friends who believe that the policeman, Officer Mackey, who lives over the road is in-fact the Cape May Slayer, a local serial killer who preys on teenage boys.

Spoiler alert!

As enjoyable as it was, Summer of 84 felt like it spent a lot of time building up to the finale. The team go to all kinds of lengths to investigate the police officer and try to get hard evidence that he's the killer. I was expecting a huge twist in the tale, especially as the evidence continually builds, and then there's the telephone scene which proves that Officer Mackey is not what he seems and is clearly at least involved in some way. When he's revealed as the killer, I was left feeling a little underwhelmed. There was no twist and the story seemed quite generic. Fortunately, the wonderful acting, dialogue, and cinematography save the day.

Being set in the 80's and drenched in the era's style and pop-culture references, Summer of 84 is perfect for those who love retro-films, and classics like The Goonies and ET. The characters here are very well developed and tap into that sense of familiarity, setting up Summer of 84 to become a classic. However, that finale cheated the movie out of that, despite it being quite gripping in its delivery.


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