The Ice Cream Truck

Suburbia can be a killer.

20171 h 36 min

Mary moves back to her suburban hometown to find that the suburbs are scarier in more ways than she ever remembered.

Runtime 1 h 36 min
Release Date 1 January 2017

A woman named Mary moves back to her home town after her husband’s company moves him to a closer office – oh, and there’s an ice cream man driving around slashing people. The trailer for this movie had me intrigued, not hopeful, mind you, but definitely intrigued. I knew it was an independent horror movie, and coming off the high of “The Pact” I was eager to give another independent horror movie a chance – and just like a gullible child, hopeful the dog that once bit him wouldn’t do it again reaches his hand out to pet it once more, I was left hurt and regretful once again. This actually might be the most boring movie I have ever seen save for Sleepaway Camp 4: The Survivor (which I will never torture myself by watching again).

You might be lured into a false sense of suspense by the lack of sound effects and slow-zooms in the beginning of the film, but what you don’t immediately realize is the filmmaker apparently only knows how to film each scene in such a manner, which ultimately leaves you clueless as to whether or not the scene you’re watching is meant to be suspenseful or just shot poorly. The pacing is so one-note that it results in incredible awkwardness in each and every social interaction we see. I’m not kidding when I say every single conversation Mary has with any given character – including her family – is excruciatingly awkward. Conversations I’m assuming that are meant to build character development and backstory instead come off as just plain creepy.

I can’t entirely blame the filmmakers for this abomination as it seems the acting and writing were sub-par at best. Characters recite lines like a waiter recites the specials they memorized that morning – no emotion or feeling. The lines themselves are sometimes cliche and lazy, which probably didn’t help the actors invoke a sense of emotion as they couldn’t relate to any of the material they were being asked to portray. This could be blamed on improper casting, especially since the 18-year old neighbor boy looks like a 30-year old clinging to his youth as an ex-boy band member. I can’t speak highly for the originality in the music department either as the intro music is a blatant rip-off of John Carpenter’s Halloween intro music with a few minor alterations in notes.

Vain attempts to save the “art” of the film include beginning every scene with a wide-shot to a slow zoom and then extending the scene way past its necessary length, which only makes an already awkward scene that much more awkward. This reminds me of why I stopped watching independent horror movies in the first place. Not every scene is freaking art, we don’t need 10 minutes of a woman browsing the internet on her phone. I eventually caught on to an underlying message of morality this ridiculous movie tried to feed us, which only caused more disappointment. Every man in the movie is portrayed as a predator or a sex-fiend. From the furniture moving guy to the neighbor’s son to the delivery man to the ice cream man – every guy is out to get her.

Speaking of the ice cream man, isn’t the name of the movie The Ice Cream Truck? Wouldn’t that imply, I don’t know, that maybe he should be the centralizing focus of the film? I would think so, but that is not the case. Instead, we focus on Mary and how she’s a closet alcoholic who likes to bang neighbor boys and occasionally smokes weed. The killer ice cream man is basically a subplot to Mary’s story as a bored housewife. Getting to the ice cream man, at first, he didn’t seem to have a motive for suddenly deciding to kill the people in the neighborhood that I’m assuming he’s been delivering ice cream to for years. Nor do we see any repercussions for him killing random people in the neighborhood – no cops, no ambulances, nothing. He’s only in about 3 scenes of the movie and in each one he kills someone with a knife and then the scene immediately cuts to Mary again, with no reference to the ones he’s killed for the remainder of the film.

In the end, Mary actually kills the ice cream man with little effort on her part by hiding in the back of his ice cream truck and killing him with a milkshake stirrer. This could have been an acceptable ending, even given the atrocity I had to sit through up until this point, but instead the filmmakers decide once again to throw more bullshit at us. The final scene of the movie depicts Mary sitting at home when her family finally arrives, and she introduces them to their neighbor while everyone that’s been killed so far in the movie is seen perfectly alive and well. I can only assume this means the entire film played out in Mary’s head as some sort of weird fantasy, or that she was writing a story that included everyone in her neighborhood. Either way, everyone’s alive and no one’s killing anyone. Then, we see the furniture moving guy standing outside Mary’s house staring in and the film cuts to credits. Completely unnecessary attempt at a cliffhanger ending from the filmmakers here.

This movie is…

I don’t know why this movie was made but it wasn’t for people who enjoy watching movies.

Cheers and goodnight.