“Summer of 84” Goes Beyond Stranger Things

Summer of 84 is a smart thriller about a kid engrossed with mythical monsters who suspects that a serial killer, a monster of the human kind, might be living across the street. It is a pastiche of 80’s style influences from Stranger Things, to Steven Spielberg to Stephen King’s It.

All that familiarity with the three S’s might breed contempt but it is just a lure for the real horror ahead. The Canadian directing trio of Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell know that they must make you comfortable in their world before they can get you uncomfortable.

The all white male gang like to masturbate, talk sex and obsess about Star Wars. The movie’s switch kicks in just at the point it all starts to get tiresome. It is a startling transition from the low stakes dreams of being boys to the high stake responsibilities of adulthood. The death of innocence never felt more uncomfortable, upsetting and painful.

Summer of 84 earnestness will engage the 80’s fanboy. Its twist will shock them.

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