Summer of 84 - Poster

Summer Of 84 Is More Rear Window Than Stranger Things

Friends, earlier this year I was alerted to an upcoming film entitled Summer of 84. With an obvious sense of affection for the 80s – hence the title – it definitely looked like a film I would have to catch once it was released to theaters. Sadly in my neck of the woods, it didn’t make the circuit so I had to wait until it was made available through VOD last week to see it for myself. Like the title of my review states, you should go in expecting a thriller and not a horror film to get the most out of Summer of 84. A word of warning for the teaser trailer below, there is just a touch of salty language towards the end.

[Via] Gunpowder & Sky

Now please don’t get me wrong as I truly do not believe the filmmakers on Summer of 84 are trying to be the next Stranger Things. What Directors Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell have delivered is something akin to a suburban version of Rear Window. They largely succeed and I will certainly recommend you checking the movie out for yourself. By the way, if you don’t recognize the names of the Directors – they were responsible for 2015’s immediate cult classic Turbo Kid.
Summer of 84 - Turbo Kid poster

The story for Summer of 84 if you didn’t check out the trailer concerns Davey Armstrong, played wonderfully by Graham Verchere, who to put it mildy could be labled a conspiracy theorist. His devotion to plastering his room with front page National Inquirer-like articles gives us a good look at how the teenager thinks, which is nothing in his life is really is as it seems. Especially in the suburbs where he and his tight group of friends live. I believe the Directors are attempting to match up some of the aesthetics of a Spielberg film with that of course of Hitchcock – actually possibly John Carpenter and Wes Craven too. Davey thinks his biggest problem is his crush on Nikki (Tiera Skovbye) , the girl across the street but that is nothing when he begins to suspect that his next door neighbor, Police Officer Wayne Mackey (Rich Sommer), a hero Cop to the town of Ipswich…might be a serial killer.
Summer of 84 - Officer Mackey

The cast do a great job of capturing of how it mostly was like growing up in 1984. One of my small nitpicks is where I feel that the 80s references in Stranger Things is natural and generally unobtrusive – when Davey’s friends Tommy (Judah Lewis), Woody (Caleb Emery), and Farraday (Cory Gruter-Andrew) are all together – to me the constant referencing feels a little forced. Please don’t get me wrong however, it won’t ruin your enjoyment of the film, just something that stuck out with me.
Summer of 84 - Davey and the Boys

Another aspect of the film I feel I should make a point to praise is the soundtrack by Le Matos. Equal parts John Carpenter with a little Tangerine Dream thrown into the mix – as soon as the credits finished rolling I immediately jumped to iTunes and picked up the album.

[Via] At Close Range

So if you are looking for a nice retro thriller tonight, check out Summer of 84!

[Via] Le Matos

VicSage

Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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