Friday, August 10, 2018

Review: Summer of '84

Hot on the heels of our interview with Montreal film collective RKSS, we've got a review of their new movie -- a follow up to their 2015 hit Turbo Kid -- Summer of '84, which get a limited theatrical release today!

What an officious first paragraph for a Basement review . . .

Written and put into production before the phenomenon that was/is Stranger Things and the big-screen adaptation of Stephen King's It, this is very much a loving look back at the 80s, which is when the collective of Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell grew up.

It's also right in line with the type of genre movies in theatres during that wonderful summer of 1984, when films like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom reigned supreme.

RKSS told me the work of John Carpenter played a big part in influencing this film, and it's apparent in every frame and every chord of music, but that's not a bad thing. This movie looks and sounds great, and there's genuine tension during key scenes and some decent jump scares, accompanied by musical stings of course.

While the horror elements worked, none of it would have mattered if you didn't like the kids at the heart of the story. Yes, 80s horror movies almost always had kids as the main characters, and this batch is equally as likeable as The Losers Club in It. They reminded me of my group of friends and our interactions growing up. So when things get nasty, and they do get nasty, you give a damn about what happens to them.

This might not have had the budget of It or Stranger Things, but the 80s and all the trappings of toys and clothes are here. It was a fun nostalgia trip to look at them and relive the memories they triggered.

But Summer of '84 is more than a trip down memory lane. It's a fun, and often scary, ride grounded in the era and films that inspired it. I couldn't have asked for a more entertaining time at the movies. A Good for sure!

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