Horrorfest 2019 Presents: Summer of 84 (2018, François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell)


Channeling a mix of Stranger Things and Stand By Me, the Canadian horror flick Summer of 84 also reminds me of Monster Squad. I liked how it’s a solid mystery thriller featuring a group of likable kids. One of them is played by Judah Lewis, who seems to be in a good number of horror movies these days. The leader of the group, Davey, is played by Graham Verchere, who offers up film noir style voiceover narration.

A serial killer of kids is loose, and Davey in true Rear Window fashion suspects his neighbor. Problem is that neighbor is a cop, and a well respected one at that. Gathering up his friends, Davey decides to investigate despite the possible consequences. I rather liked the use of walkie talkies to spy on someone, plus the film’s excellent, very 1980s score.

Even though Summer of 84 moves a bit too slow at times, it’s still a really good and enjoyable movie. The last act works incredibly well and there are scenes that are very suspenseful. “Even serial killers live next door to someone.” A rather chilling line, and all too sadly true.

Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Curtains (1983, Richard Ciupka)


Despite some noticeable issues with its production, Curtains still has enough good moments to make it worth viewing. John Vernon is wonderfully sleazy while Samantha Eggar comes off as both obsessive and vengeful as the muse Vernon betrays. The women who gather at his mansion to obtain the role that Eggar feels was promised to her all fall under the threat of a creepy mask wearing killer. This film even throws in a memorable ice skating scene for good measure, a scene that is the film’s highlight.

Based on what I have seen, Canadian horror has some good slasher films, and despite its faults Curtains is decent enough to consider viewing. Also Lynne Griffin and Maury Chaykin make notable appearances. I guess anyone desperate enough to make it in Hollywood would literally kill for a major role. Show business is a tough one, indeed.

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