Film #25 of 2013: Summer’s Blood (2009)

IMDB Rating: 4.4/10

“Summer’s Blood” is a Canadian horror film so you know it is going to be absolutely crazy, weird and on another level completely!  Like a couple other Canadian films  this one doesn’t apologize for its subject matter. It’s over the top and definitely not mainstream. From the on-slot it looks like a typical thriller film, with a young girl getting into a car with a stranger, but then it throws everything conventional about the genre out the window! Strap yourself in tight cause you are in for one wild ride!

A rebellious teenager, Summer Matthews (Ashley Greene) finds out her mother’s secret,  her unknown father is alive, and she decides to seek him out. She hitchhikes to a small village called Massey with an old picture of her father, expecting that someone might identify him. When she arrives in the community, she shoplifts from a store, but the local sheriff sees her and chases her. However, a nice boy Tom Hoxey (Peter Mooney), a local handyman, helps her to flee and they go out on date that night. Tom takes her home where he lives with his mother, Gaia, and they have one night stand. The next morning, just as Summer is ready to go, she finds out that Tom is not quite the perfect gentleman.

This is yet another example (see The House at the End of the Street)  of a horror film where some messed up guy has his sister chained up in the basement…

I found this over the top film fairly entertaining with all its sick content. Keep in mind I have seen a lot of disturbing and weird films, so nothing phases me! It is not a gory horror film or all that scary, but instead plunges the viewer into the lives of this very twisted family.

Peter Mooney was great in his role, I knew him from the TV show Camelot (in which he didn’t give an all that memorable performance) but as Tom, he was brilliant.  He was genuinely credible as a sick freak who can pass for normal to the outside world, and when he does show his true colors, it doesn’t come off as forced. Canadian veteran Stephen McHattie (a mixture of Christopher Walken and Lance Henriksen) is clearly the best actor of the bunch and also does a chilling performance. Ashley Green, the films biggest star thanks to the Twilight franchise, gave the weakest performance. She wasn’t that believable in her role which I think is one of the reasons the movie might come off more stupid than it is.  I am really surprised that such a huge star like her was even in a film like this, given the subject matter. I figure she must have filmed it before she got Twilight. However, her decision to hold back on the nudity really makes no sense in a film where her character climbs into bed with a guy within ten minutes of having met him. So that means she’s failing to give us the gratuitous part of the gratuitous sex scene. What sense does that make? And her character sure does some implausible things after that. I mean, after she’s been taken down into the cellar and tortured, why on earth would Greene bother having a chat to her captor about her personal life? I know kidnap victims don’t have a whole lot of options but either she’s way too chummy with the guy or he’s a total dummy. These scenes also prove to be a little stagey, too.

Sure this film has its problems, but I welcome its uniqueness and its disturbing themes.  It is in the same vein as another weird film I love called “Dead Girl” and has hard subject matter like “The Girl Next Door,” (not the one with Elisha Cuthbert). It sure is different, a mixture of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Flowers in the Attic” is the best comparison I can come up with.  There’s some really disturbing stuff in this, and good film or not, you’re unlikely to shake it off immediately afterwards. That’s gotta count for something, I think. This underrated low budget film is certainly worth a look if you think you are looking for some solid mixed bag horror with a big heaping plate of incest and a side of creepy!

7/10 (Good)

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