Horror Review: Summer Of ’84 (2018)

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.

Last year I wrote an article titled “The Stranger Things Effect” (which you can read HERE), I have to say that this film is great evidence to what I was trying to say.

In that article I state that this isn’t a bad thing at all and that I’m actually glad to see it having a positive effect on the business of film making and television. This modern yet retro feel that has become so popular may not be to everyone’s tastes but I’m certainly a huge fan of it, which leads me to this film.
When I first saw the trailer for this feature I had very high hopes for it, it reminded me a little of Stephen Kings 1986 film “Stand By Me” (one of my all time favourites), a little of the 2007 feature “Disturbia”, with a vibe of the popular show “Stranger Things”, thus completing that modern yet retro feel I was talking about.
It may sound like a strange concoction and written down it looks even stranger (no pun intended) but you have to trust me when I tell you that it works perfectly. It also features some amazing cinematography that wouldn’t look out of place in a blockbuster film, mixed with a great score it’s a treat as a viewer to experience.
Some may say the acting is a bit awkward but I thought that suited the characters perfectly as they are a bunch of awkward teenagers, sure it’s not perfect but I have to say that those imperfections seem to make you enjoy the feature even more, it has such a strange charm to it that leaves a lasting impression on you.
“Summer Of ’84” is a film that I can see becoming a future cult classic, I urge you to seek it out and give it a watch as I really do feel it will satisfy a lot of viewers out there. I know it’s become one of my modern favourites.
If you want to see the “Summer Of ’84” trailer then just click on the video below:

Miscellaneous facts about the film:

Cruel Summer by Bananarama plays while they are riding their BMXs. Exactly the same positioning in the Karate Kid with Daniel LaRusso riding his BMX to the same track. A cool nod considering it was released in the Summer of 84.

The fictional arcade game Polybius of urban legend appears in the background of the bowling alley with an out of order sign on it.

In Mackey’s secret lockup is a Volkswagen Beetle. The same make of car owned by serial killer Ted Bundy.

At one point Mackey mentions to Davey that he has a couple of walkies retired from the police force that he can borrow – saying that “they cover everything”, which implies Mackey could have been listening in on all the boys’ communications.

When Davey cleans his closet, just before finding the G.I. Joe’s walkie-talkies, you can clearly spot a figurine of Turbo Kid, the title character of RKSS Films previous film, Turbo Kid (2015).

When the boys are in the clubhouse talking about Nikki, Tommy is seen drinking a bottle of MacReady’s Whiskey. This is a nod to The Thing (1982) where Kurt Russell’s character, R.J. MacReady, drinks J&B Scotch Whiskey at different points in the movie.

In the boys’ clubhouse, a poster hangs showing the cover of the 1983 final issue of the punk rock zine Touch and Go. The cover features Henry Rollins (vocalist for State of Alert; Black Flag; Rollins Band) and Ian MacKaye (vocalist for Minor Threat and Fugazi).

At one point one of the kids mention an “experiment covered by the government”. This may be a reference to Stranger Things considering that the events of the TV series are set in 1984.

When Eats, Farraday, and Woody are about to enter Sammy Hoffman’s home you can hear Woody saying, “I have a bad feeling about this, ” which is a reference to the Star Wars movies. 43:29 mark of the movie.

Jason Gray-Stanford’s first name in this film is Randall. His first name in the series, Monk (2002) is also Randall.

Every exterior shot of Mackie’s house from the front side has the house number partially covered by one of the support beams.

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