Dark Summer online movie review - Not all that bad
Overall, I think this movie has been given a bit of a bad rap. Compared to a lot of recent horror films, this one was actually pretty good even with the budget restraints.
Daniel has been placed under house arrest for cyberstalking local "weird girl" Mona. The only adult in the film is Daniel's somewhat sympathetic parole officer played by Peter Stormare. Daniel does have 2 friends which visit him daily, help him reconnect with the web and are inadvertently drawn into his unfolding nightmare. After Daniel receives a disturbing Skype from Mona, things turn from boring to surreal and eventually frightening as he realizes that he is being haunted by Mona's spirit. Using technology somewhat out of their capabilities at times, the trio of friends try to figure out what's real, what's simply Daniel's guilt and what just hallucinations. The only real subplot is Annie's unrequited love of Daniel and how it eventually plays out in the end. The primary flaw with the movie is with the script. Everything is just taken for granted that Daniel is placed in a situation where he is trapped and doomed. There had to be a reason why Daniel was "trapped". There had to be a reason why the cast was limited to as few people as possible. There had to be a reason to create a claustrophobic feel. This might have been done better with a better screenplay, but somehow, it was pulled off without too much loss of effect. The movie slows to a crawl in several instances where it is supposed to build tension. In some cases it works. In others, it's merely a ploy to stretch the running time. It's only within the final 20 minutes or so that the trio truly realize what's happening, yet little is actually explained and the viewer is left with far too many questions than answers. I had way too many questions by the time the film ended.
BEWARE, HERE BE SPOILERS
It becomes obvious why Daniel suddenly became smitten with Mona, yet she did little to reciprocate his obvious attention. Was it her parent's that intervened? The lock on the OUTSIDE of Mona's bedroom door was unusual. Did her parent's know what her "hobby" was? Were they protecting her or were they AFRAID of her? Were THEY ALSO into witchcraft? Did they know what their little darling was up to and file charges against Daniel as a way of protecting HIM? Every part of the "possession" spell as aimed at Daniel, yet WHY would she want to possess him? How could she possibly know that Annie would complete the spell? WHY didn't either of them attempt to actually start a conversation with each other? Mona was obviously stalking Daniel for MUCH longer than he was stalking her based on the evidence in her secret room. It would have been a LOT simpler for her to approach Daniel after her initial love spell than to go to the extreme that she did. I neither expect not want to have a movie explained for me, but just a little more information concerning the above could really have made this a much more creepy movie Dark Summer wasn't a great film. It was a pretty good film that didn't waste my time. There were a couple of major plot holes that were easy to overlook, but I would have liked for the characters to have "fleshed out" a bit more so that they were easier to identify with. In fact, the entire story could have used a little more background color. To sum up, I've seen worse, but I've seen much better.