Starring: Keir Gilchrist, Grace Phipps, Peter Stormare

Dark Summer

Dark Summer

Director: Paul Solet

Rating: 2/5

Paul Solet made his directorial debut back in 2009 with Grace, but this week he is back with his second film Dark Summer. He is sticking with the horror genre for the new film, but this time around, it is Mike Le who has penned the screenplay.

Summer is a time to relax, unwind, take a vacation, and be free. But 17-year-old Daniel Austin gets none of that because his obsessive online stalking of his classmate and crush, Mona Wilson, got him put on house arrest for the whole summer.

So, no cell phone, no Internet, no leaving the property, and especially no Mona. Then Daniel's single mother has to go on a long business trip, and Daniel has the place to himself. Daniel figures out a way to piggyback onto his neighbours' wireless signal and believing he's surfing off the grid, uses his time to check in on his friends - and Mona...

But what Daniel didn't expect is for Mona to check up on him. And what she does next shakes him to his very core.

It has not been a great couple of years for the horror genre with a series of mediocre movies hitting the big screen - along with some major howlers.

While Dark Summer does start off well, it never really blossoms into a great low-budget psychological thriller. Solet does start to explore the psychological erosion of the central character - which is a really intriguing plot thread - but the run of the mill chills and thrills really lets it down.

The early promise of the movie slowly starts to fade away and we are left with something that is pretty conventional that we have seen a hundred times before.

It Solet had just resisted the urge to cram in as many moments to try and made you jump and stuck with the original premise of haunted social networks, I think the film could have been something a little more interesting and successful.

Keir Gilchrist is an actor who has been making a name for himself on TV and in film over the last couple of years, and he does the best with what he is given. He deals with the psychological aspect of the film incredibly well as Daniel struggles with what is happening to him.

But this character is not developed enough to make audiences really care about what is happening to him, which I think is a major shame.

Solet did a great job with his first movie Grace, as it was a film that really focused on the characters and kept you on the edge of your seat. Sadly, he hasn't quite recreated that with Dark Summer. I think that he excels more having penned the screenplay himself - like with Grace - rather than interpreting someone else's work.

Dark Summer is by no means the worst movie that we will see this year, but it is just a little too formulaic and offers very little in the way of originality. Major shame. Dark Summer is not now.

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