1 hour 43 minutes| Horror/Mystery | 2018
Films concerning the ’80s have become the norm these days, with the success of Stranger Things and last year’s adaptation of IT proving that there is a market for them. They tap into our nostalgia, making us feel something special inside. Of course, there’re going to be other attempts at capturing the magic. One of those is Summer of 84.
The film tells the story of a boy (Graham Verchere) who suspects that his next door neighbour (Rich Sommer) is a serial killer, and sets out with his friends to prove that his right.
Summer of 84 ticks all the boxes: a gang of friends (full of every stereotype you can imagine); the soundtrack; the throw backs to bring the nostalgia. However, where the film fails is that beyond that, there isn’t anything else to get excited for. Whereas the likes of Stranger Things and IT have likeable characters portrayed by equally likeable actors, Summer of 84 doesn’t. It could be that the filmmakers decided to make the group every stereotype you can imagine. You are forced to like them based on nostalgia and not through exciting performances or character arcs.
The film doesn’t just fall flat with its characters, but its inability to create any sort of suspense and for creating such a forgettable villain. This isn’t down to Rich Sommer, but due to the writers not giving him or the character much to do. What comes then is perhaps the most laughable twist in recent history, one that will have you scratching your head. All of this undermines the villain, and shows the writers just didn’t know what to do.
Summer of 84 is a cut and copy version of what has come before it. However, it never really becomes its own, resulting in a neither fun or serious movie. Nostalgia can only last so long before people get bored.
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