Summer of 84 is a new horror mystery featuring a group of teenage friends. It has a nice retro feel, but could’ve been even better.

Summer of 84 has a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes, which is about 15 minutes more than necessary. The story works just fine, but it could have been tighter. It’s not something that ruins the viewing experience, but few changes could’ve improved it.

Also, why not shake things up a bit and not just feature four white teenage boys. Why not include just a smidge of diversity.

It just feels like a missed opportunity and could’ve given Summer of 84 an awesome edge.

Retro movie with current issues

I personally love pretty much everything with an 80s feel, so I was looking forward to this movie. However, one of the reasons I was looking forward to it, was that I figured they would somewhat update it.

And yes, this could have included girls being part of this group of friends. Or a character of color. And no, it’s not about being politically correct (though this isn’t a dirty concept to me). Instead, it’s about showing the world how it actually is.

Something Stranger Things have been pretty successful at. Also, even movies actually made in the 80s managed to include more diversity than this one. That just feels wrong on so many levels.

Basically, Summer of 84 becomes almost a spoof instead of an homage to the 80’s.

Summer of 84 – Horror Movie Review

The good and bad friends

I know this all seems very harsh, but another thing I didn’t care for, was how friendship was portrayed. Back in the 80s, there were movies like The Goonies and Stand By Me. Movies that focused on the power of friendship and loyalty.

In Summer of 84, the main character Davey isn’t exactly good at being a friend. He actually seems like he doesn’t care that much about them. He’s almost compulsive in his need to find the truth. Which is admirable enough. But it shouldn’t have to be at the expense of this friends.

However, the friendship between some of the other friends in the group is absolutely beautiful. They seem to know what each struggles with and make it clear, that they’re there for one another.

Summer of 84 – Horror Movie Review

You should enjoy this

Even if I wasn’t crazy about a lot of the very basic decisions regarding the story, I did enjoy Summer of 84.

It’s a very typical horror mystery, which should have you guessing as the story progresses. For someone who loves the classic 80s movies in this genre, it’s definitely a treat.

The standout star for me was Caleb Emery (Goosebumps). He has perfect comedic timing as Dale “Woody” Woodworth. He’s one of the friends in the group and really has some of the best moments in the film.

And yes, it does also include quite a bit of really creepy moments. Both real and imagined!

SUMMER OF 84 will be released in theaters on August 10th and on VOD and Digital HD August 24, 2018.

Details

Director: François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell
Writers: Matt Leslie, Stephen J. Smith
Cast: Graham Verchere, Judah Lewis, Caleb Emery, Cory Gruter-Andrew, Tiera Skovbye, Rich Sommer, Jason Gray-Stanford, Shauna Johannesen

Plot

After suspecting that their police officer neighbor is a serial killer, a group of teenage friends spend their summer spying on him and gathering evidence, but as they get closer to discovering the truth, things get dangerous.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Summer of 84 (2018)
Rating
31star1star1stargraygray
Karina

Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina

Latest posts by Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard (see all)