A group of neighborhood teenage friends spend the summer of 1984 playing outside, fawning over the girl next door, and stalking their neighbor who they think might be a serial killer. Think ‘Disturbia’ meets ‘The Goonies’. From the directors of ‘Turbo Kid’ (and not much else), this retro-styled thriller truly is something out of left field, and that’s a good thing. Among a sea of bad horror movies that have released this year, this is one that really stands out as an enjoyable watch. It’s not a gory, jumpy horror movie that will keep you up at night, but instead the suspense relies on the viewer to put themselves in the mindset of a 15-year-old in 1984, and think about what it would be like to live next door to a serial killer. No flashy special effects, no supernatural abilities from the killer; just a group of kids, armed only with courage and curiosity.
This movie takes place in the 80’s (obviously), much like ‘Stranger Things, ‘IT’, and ‘It Follows’, which initially had me worried that this was going to be just another retro horror movie to add to the list, but that’s actually all right. It turns out, I’m not sick of the 80’s era horror yet. I thought I was going to be, and I wanted to find something to dislike about the 80’s setting being overused, but dammit I really enjoy it. Maybe it comes from being a child of the 80’s myself but there’s something about the simplicity of that decade that I like. All I’m saying is, keep ’em coming.
If I may realign my thoughts back to the movie itself, let’s talk about the acting – WOW. The only actor I recognized was the guy playing the father of the main character (who played Disher on the TV show ‘Monk’), but that didn’t stop the remaining cast from shining through. Graham Verchere, the boy who plays the main character, reminds me of a young Michael Cera. The subtlety of his reactions during scenes of high tension really impressed me, to be coming from such a young actor. Honestly, the whole crew of neighborhood kids impressed me with their acting ability. The actors were so perfect for their roles that it almost seems like their characters were written around each actor’s specific personality.
If I had to change anything it would be the ending because I didn’t like it, but not because it was a bad ending, I just didn’t like what happened. Then again, I guess I wasn’t supposed to like it. I’m not going to spoil anything because I really want you to just watch it for yourself. Hopefully it is still available on Amazon Prime by the time you read this. If not, hopefully it will be released on Blu-Ray soon, and when it does I’m definitely grabbing a copy.
This movie is…
Good, enjoyable thriller worth watching, which is more than I can say for a lot of horror movies this year.
Cheers and goodnight.