Macabre...ish Horror Review: Summer of 84

 

 

Summer of ‘84, 2018/ 106 min. The movie opens in Ipswich, Oregon (one of 10 towns that make up Cape May) the summer of 1984. The town is reeling from the deaths of 13 teenaged boys, a serial killer is among them, dubbed The Cape May Killer. A paper boy, Davey Armstrong (Graham Verchere),

 

 

on his route, helps one of his customers move something in his basement turned dark room. 

 

 

Between the route, hanging out with his friends and the coverage of the murders on the news. He begins to believe that his customer, his neighbor, Wayne Mackey (Rich Sommer), who’s a popular police officer in town, is the serial killer. He confides in his friends, Faraday (Corey Gruter-Andrew), Woody (Caleb Emery), Bobby (Harrison Houde), Eats (Judah Lewis) that he’s seen the missing kid, Dusty, on the milk carton at Officer Mackey’s

 

 

house, and he fits the probable description of the killer and they reject his theory, as conspiracy. But they research the killings anyway. Searching the library archives, listening in on phone conversations and investigating homes of neighbors they haven’t seen lately.

 

 

They begin surveillance of Officer Mackey to find out his schedule. They follow him around town, go through his garbage and watch his house. And if he is the killer, Davey wants to catch him! 

 

Another boy has been chased and snatched off the street. The next day they follow Officer Mackey to the garden supply store buying a lot of suspect stuff. A pick axe, even more soil after his original hundred pounds and shovels. Meanwhile, the neighbor, Nicky (Tiera Scovbye), has begun randomly dropping by and hanging out.

 

 

Under the guise of playing manhunt, one night, they get caught planting a walkie talkie at Officer Mackey’s house. Later, they find another vehicle, sodium hydroxide and a bloody boy’s shirt in Mackey’s shed. And Mackey catches Davey watching him late one night. Spooked and with what he thinks is overwhelming evidence, Davey tells his parents and shows them the evidence and to his surprise, he gets in trouble, forced to apologize to Mackey and grounded. 

 

Eventually a suspect is arrested by Mackey and during the Cape May Festival, the boys search Mackey’s house and find a horrific scene. They take recorded footage of what they saw to the police and an APB is issued. Davey and Woody are kidnapped by Mackey and find themselves on an island, he wants to play Manhunt and the boys run for the woods. 

 

It’s going to cost someone their life. And when it’s all said and done boys are rescued and haunted by Mackey and the Summer of ‘84. Their clubhouse dismantled, police taped around Mackey’s house and more bad news in the paper. The boys are strangers now, alone in their own hell. They try to move on.

 

This is a good movie, a Canadian production. It reminds me of Stand By Me or Goonies. It’s got the feel. The coming of age story of a group of teen boys, bonding over something terrible happening in their area. It’s got some heavy moments. There’s plenty of adult language in this one and a little nudity. Good cinematography and just the right amount of creepy for a murder mystery. P.S. Davey’s Dad is Randy Disher from Monk!

Plus, there’s a blooper reel and director’s commentary in French and English. And captions if necessary. Enjoy! 

 

 

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