Movie Review: Cruel Summer (2021)

Synopsis: Looking to start out summer vacation from college on the right foot, Heather invites her friends to a lake house for a 1980s-themed murder mystery party. However, soon after arriving her guests become targets for a real serial killer.

Who's in it? The movie stars Ashlyn McCain, Bridget Linda FroemmingWill HortonScott Tepperman and H. Marie

Review: A couple days ago, I gave my wife a choice between Cruel Summer and Monsternado since they were right next to each other on Amazon Prime. She chose the latter, and it turned out to be an awful movie. As a result, I decided to give this one a chance to see what we missed and as it turns out, it wasn't any better.

The reality is it really shouldn't be that difficult to make a decent slasher movie. It doesn't need to have a complex plot. The acting doesn't need to be Oscar worthy. All you really need is a believable scenario, a cold-blooded killer and a reasonable amount of execution. With that said, this movie is a textbook example of what not to do.

First of all, the acting in this movie is atrocious. It's not an exaggeration to say the acting at the last high school play I watched was considerably better. Many of the characters just felt like they were reading lines off of a cue card with zero thought about what kind of emotion or energy they were supposed to bring to the scene. A couple others felt like they were just making things up as they went.

Had that been the only problem, I may have still be able to enjoy the film, but the overall movie just seemed messy. Some of the outdoor conversations were drowned out by the traffic on a nearby roadway. Many of the murder scenes were more humorous than scary because you could see the victims phoning it in. And I still can't figure out the point of Heather's (McCain) dad (Jim O'Rear) getting as much screen time as he did, considering he ultimately doesn't do anything.

Even the premise itself doesn't work. As I told my wife, the "party" Heather was holding was one of the lamest I've ever seen in a movie. Plus, whole "murder mystery" theme doesn't even come into play at any given point, other than to give them an excuse not to bring their cell phones (so they could keep the 80s theme as realistic as possible) and indirectly lead to an unneeded shower scene.

Final Opinion: I think the most unbelievable thing about this movie is there is apparently a sequel. I don't have any intention of watching that and wish I could get back the 90 minutes I lost watching this one.

My Grade: F


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