Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Movie: Summer of 84 (2018)

In the spirit of summer, I wanted to watch a horror movie for this hot season. I decided to take in Summer of 84. I read about the premise and it sounded like nostalgic fun, but some things are a little off, it tries too hard, and it's a little boring.

Let's start with the poster....


See a resemblance?



Ok, so they have a 1980s homage going on ~ obviously. (This is the potential for a good movie part.)

The plot is simple. It's about a group of four boys living in Ipswich, Oregon during the Summer of 1984. One of them is really into mysteries and with boys missing from the neighborhood he suspects his neighbor from across the street is killing them. His neighbor just happens to be a cop!


***SPOILER ALERT***

You find out who the killer is in the first 5 minutes of the movie, so the suspense is based on the boys trying to prove it. Since it was revealed early, I decided to critique some other things instead of the story.

As someone who lived through 1984 and was close in age to these kids, some of the fashion is very off. Let me present to you this disco shirt...


For a casual day at the library, this 15 year old is wearing a 1970s disco shirt. That's not accurate. He'd be more likely wearing a novelty T shirt or sweatshirt. This shirt is a little dated, but ~ if worn ~ would be for school photos or dances.

Next, the friend who is a punk kid doesn't look like 1984 either. This looks very 1990s to me. His hair is too trimmed, he should have a mullet, feathered hair, or long hair in back if they wanted a shaggy look. Possibly an earring and a jean jacket instead of a leather jacket.


My other observation is that this movie has a retrowave soundtrack that's overbearing. In some scenes the music gets really loud and distracting from the characters. There's even a scene where a synthwave band is playing the local festival. SYNTHWAVE WASN'T THAT POPULAR IN 1984. I highly doubt any fairs in 1984 had a random synthwave band playing. (Don't get me wrong I like this music, but it was a little too much here.)

In passing dialog, nods to the 1980s get mentioned i.e. Star Wars, Gremlins, GI Joe, but it doesn't have the appeal of Stranger Things. I feel like they tried to shoehorn them in. I think in it's use of kids it's trying to be Stand By Me or It, but is more Rear Window. I give it one newspaper out of five.

Here's the trailer...






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