Dark Summer (2015)

02Dark Summer  (Horror, Thriller,  2015) () D: Paul Solet W: Mike Le P:  C: Keir Gilchrist, Stella Maeve, Maestro Harrell, Peter Stormare. 1h 21m. USA, UK.

Synopsis : A 17-year-old is on house arrest for the summer while his mother is away on business. A horrifying incident occurs leaving an ominous presence in the house.

TAGLINE : Some crushes last forever

This American supernatural thriller starts slow and unassuming, the camera work is lazy and the pictures hazy but it details the plights of a teenage boy who is under house arrest after stalking his high school crush, after she commits suicide he becomes convinced that her ghost is haunting him.

Tired and confused Daniel (Gilchrist) is confined to his home and tagged after harassing a young woman, Mona Wilson (Phipps), the terms of his house arrest are that he’s not allowed visits from unaccompanied minors or to use his computer or the internet. His mother is away on business and Daniel is going out of his mind with cabin fever, or is it something else? He starts to notice things happening around him that he cannot explain, either to his best friends Abby and Kevin who sneak in to keep him company or the astute observer and parole officer Stokes (Stormare).

His buds sneak him some contraband, a tablet! so he can Skype his mother while stealing the neighbor’s internet, but before he gets a chance to call his mother, he receives an incoming call from Mona who kills herself on camera. After this he gets even more paranoid and keeps seeing her in the house. The group of friend attempt a seance to try and communicate with her ghost but that goes terribly wrong and leaves Abby wounded and the walls bloody. Things start to get more urgent as the trio try to work out what’s happening while avoiding the watchful eye of Stokes, a delightful twist in the plot floats in near the end that shocks as well as turns the plot on it’s head.

Personally I adored the movie, it seems to be a strong contender for the top film most like It Follows (2014) and actually includes one of the stars. I fear that Gilchrist will be typecast as this supernatural horror victim and we’ll see him die in many more films like this but so be it, he does it well.. sorry kid.

The mood and atmosphere is spot on for the entire film and the bond between the friends is convincing, it has this sort of soft out of focus feel until the shit hits the fan then a clarity washes over the film, and while it’s a “horror” it does get a little predictable in the scares and I was expecting a lot more maturity there but it makes up for that with a cunning twist. it’s not 110% new material but it’s executed in a slightly different way but does reek of It Follows (2014) which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, a sort of nouveau supernatural thriller, something I’d like to see more of.

It could have have layered on a lot more horror, some more jump scares for the masses but I respect the adult approach that it takes, trying to build some tension to give an unforgettable ending. It’s not going to knock your socks off with frights or vivid action but it will creep you out by getting under your skin.




Rating –  6/10

R: It Follows (2014), Summer (2014), Drive (2011)
L: 5 Stylish Supernatural Nouveau Thrillers,
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