The official trailer Summer of '84 has been released, giving viewers a clear idea of what to expect when the horror film is released in August.
Some elements of the plot seem almost like a deliberate nod to the popular Netflix series Stranger Things: four teenage boys on bicycles, danger lurking in an otherwise normal small town, and plenty of visual cues (not to mention the movie's title) to remind viewers that we're in the 1980s. In the trailer, the characters ride past a Reagan/Bush election poster, chatter to each other on walkie-talkies, and clutch a milk carton bearing the image of a missing person.
Unlike the Stranger Things band of pals, though, the teenagers in Summer of '84 will be facing a serial killer rather than any supernatural monsters or mad scientists. The story centers around the boys' suspicions that a neighborhood police officer is actually behind a string of recent murders, which puts them in his cross-hairs when they try to solve the crime without support from the adults in their lives.
Stranger Things has had two highly successful seasons so far, with a third currently in production. It's not unreasonable to suppose that part of its appeal comes from the painstakingly crafted '80s setting, as well as from its underdog heroes trying to balance their schoolwork and newly-discovered hormones with saving their town. Whether or not the same audience will go for Summer of '84, the nostalgia factor of that formula might be enough to float the movie if its own thrills and chills don't do the trick. A well-chosen soundtrack of '80s tunes wouldn't hurt, either.
Summer of '84 is directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell, with a cast that includes Graham Verchere, Judah Lewis, Caleb Emery, Cory Gruter-Andrew, Tiera Skovbye, and Rich Sommer. It will be released to select theaters on August 10.