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 2019 Presents: The Babysitter (2017, McG)


Finally lying down, beer in hand, I watched The Babysitter last night. This was my kind of late night modern slasher film-savvy, fun, really violent, channeling the 1980s. In fact this movie would have been right at home during the slasher heyday, and if it was older many would regard The Babysitter as some lost cult classic. As it stands it is a really good modern day horror film, one with a good cast and snappy one liners.

Young Cole doesn’t realize until it’s too late that his super gorgeous babysitter, Bee, is the leader of a devil cult. One that sacrifices lonely losers and then uses the blood of the innocent to achieve power. Or, something along those lines, that aspect was not important. Once the group finds out that Cole knows, the poor kid has to run and this movie turns into Home Alone on steroids. Bonus points for the Foghat hanging out montage that is oddly adorable.

Sure I have seen this kind of movie done before, yet pure slasher cinema is apparently Bella Thorne crying about getting shot in the boob. Also Samera Weaving and Judah Lewis have that nice bit of chemistry that was just not meant to last. I wouldn’t mind if this became a franchise, although it is unlikely to happen. Even though it is cool that this is on Netflix, getting to see it on the big screen would have been more satisfying. Oh well.

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