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Fantasia 2018 Review: “Summer of 84” (2018) ★★★★


How many times have we all passed the same neighborhood where, for instance, a serial killer was arrested? How many times have we noticed something strange in our neighbor’s behavior? Or, should I ask, the matter of privacy we all talk about, is the same privacy that keeps secrets locked so cleverly? How much do we know about our neighbors? Are they happy? Maybe they are not. Are they in dire financial need or maybe need food? Maybe they have something in their basement that’s waiting to be discovered? Films like “Summer of 1984” is something that can mess with any mind. It’s relevant and brings up the right issues. Because, at the end of the day, the quote by Davey Armstrong (portrayed by Graham Verchere), “every serial killer is somebody’s neighbor” is hauntingly true.

It all starts with Davey who kindly agrees to help his neighbor, police officer Wayne Mackey (Rich Sommer), to carry his furniture to his basement. On his way down, the boy begins browsing around (gotta give credit to his skills) noticing a back door in his basement that was locked. But not only that; everything around looked creepy and terrifying. Davey’s intuition begins telling him strange things about his friendly neighbor, who might in fact be the Cape May Serial killer the police is looking for. All the victims are boys around the same age as Davey and his friends, Dale, Curtis and Tommy. But when the friends begin their investigation, they realize how right they might be, but in order to provide solid evidence, they need to find proof and the cost of it can be their life.

“Summer of 84” is a perfect mystery film with elements of drama and even horror. Having all three genres combined together, it played perfectly well to create a tension throughout the film and keep the pace at the right level to ensure the viewer will have no other chance to think about anything else other than what they have before their eyes. Co-directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell, the film brings the best out of the actors which results in terrific performances, cinematography and a soundtrack that recreates the mood of the 80s, and of course, raises an important question – how well we know our neighbors and if we do, do we really pay attention to the things that happen around us? Well, this film will have plenty of opportunities to address every question in the manner that will leave everyone speechless….


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