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Final Summer Delivers Thrills And Chills In Enthralling Love Letter To Horror

As much shit as I give Mrs RNRF about her love of the sequels over the OG’s (T2 over The Terminator and Die Hard 2 over Die Hard specifically), my first and favorite Friday The 13th remains Part 6 (With Part 2 a veeeeeery close second). So first: I’m a hypocrite. Second: Zombie Jason owns. And Three: Lead protagonist, the now adult Tommy Jarvis in Part 6: Jason Lives, played to perfection by Thom Mathews also owns.

But I digress.

Getting back to Matthews, whenever his name and Horror come up in the same sentence it piques my interest so when I kept seeing stills and clips from writer, producer, and director John Isberg’s Final Summer pop up across social media it was inevitable that I had to check it out. And boy, am I so glad I did. In short, Final Summer is a love letter to the Horror of the ’80’s and ’90’s and definitely one of the best entries into the Slasher genre in quite some time.

Taking place at the troubled Camp Silverlake (A nod to Halloween III right off the bat!), Final Summer starts in 1986 with a campfire scene akin to Friday The 13th Part 4‘s iconic opening montage as counselors recount the legend of Warren Copper who just might be on the way to becoming the next great Horror villain. Cut to 1991 and it’s seemingly the last day of camp FOREVER as Silverlake has been sold to developers who plan to permanently close it down following year after year of tragedies and freak occurrences.

It’s in the “now” that we also meet our cadre of counselors & authority figures to serve as foils/fodder to a looming threat. Speaking of, one of the many highlights of Final Summer is that it boasts a cast that’s unique to a Slasher flick in that they’re all kind of endearing and way beyond your typical one dimensional fare common in the genre. There’s Lexi (Jenna Kohn) who’s trying to overcome some past trauma (As well as a recent incident at camp) as Peter (Wyatt Taber) not-so-subtly longs for her. Mario, as played by Myles Valentine, delivers some of THE BEST one liners is recent memory within a Horror flick (The “Uh, uh, uh, yell” line is gold) while Ronnie (Farbota Lynn) is a certifiable badass just to name a few of a stand out cast. Then there’s Joi Hoffsommer as Linnea Krug who owns Silverlake and is styled in such a way that one would be forgiven for continually mistaking her for Pamela Vorhees and, of course, Mathews who gets a turn as “The man” with his role as the local sheriff.

Once the introductions are through, though, there gets to a certain point (Like, two kills in and that’s following some legit jump scares early on) where you just have to give in, have fun, and enjoy the carnage that’s about to come your way. Filled with so many fun Horror movie tropes (Splitting up, declaring you’ll be right back, etc… ), Final Summer makes no bones about this particular film and characters being wholly self aware to the extent that someone even chimes in to sing Jason’s signature theme! Also of note is that Final Summer is not particularly gory per se but it is INTENSE with a main baddie clad in a skeleton mask who is relentless and, dare I say, a joy to watch???

Just as much a part of the story is composer Jeff Schroeder (The Smashing Pumpkins) whose score from start to finish is persistently ominous and perpetually menacing with airs of John Carpenter which pairs nicely with the clever shots that Isberg uses throughout to keep that feeling of impending dread alive. And you might wanna stick around until the very end not only for the, ahem, killer track by Schroeder as Night Dreamer (Think some classic end credits anthems of the ’80’s) but for maybe a little something extra to add to the story of Warren Copper.

Final Summer from Swede Films is doing the festival rounds NOW before heading to VOD later this summer. For all the info on the movie, including concrete release dates, follow the film across the information superhighway when you click here, here, or here.

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