It was an evening of couch commando. I finally settled upon Dark Summer, a horror/thriller/mystery flick that looked promising. Newly released, it’s a story of a teen (though that’s unclear, I mean, how’s this kid supporting himself?) who is on house arrest after apparently being convicted of cyber-stalking his crush. Yes – that’s right. Who said chivalry is dead.
Anyhow, upon his foray into the monotony that one would imagine house arrest brings, the kid finds himself haunted by the girl he was stalking…who, mysteriously and never really explained fully, decided to call him while she offed herself. Sound pleasing? It gets better.
Flanked by his two seemingly loyal and stoned friends, Daniel, said housed arrested teen, begins to question his own sanity as he is haunted by Mona, said haunteress. Things unfold fairly quickly, however, director Paul Solet does manage to build some serious suspense with his canted angles and close-ups of the creepy dolls that litter Daniel’s home.
There are a lot of holes in the plot, but who really cares in a film like this? It’s eerie, and at only 82 minutes, is only a minor commitment. Keir Gilchrist as Daniel is doe-eyed and expressive, and excels at feigning fear while brushing his teeth. Stella Maeve, on the other hand, who plays the smitten with Daniel Abby, really needs to learn to keep her eyes open. She looked like she was on the cusp of a catatonic state in nearly every shot she was in.
Best part of the film? The angel candle with a fingernail in it. Hah – that was as funny to type as it was to see. Oh, and Peter Stormare is in it as the conflicted and ominipresent probation officer. Lots of blood, tracking shots, and fireflies. I would’ve liked a bit more substance but with the horror genre, bloodshed is essentially the only real requirement to satiate the demographic.