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You can't bury the truthProductInformationSolstice is another frightening tale of the supernatural from thedirector of The Blair Witch Project. Less than a year afterlosing her twin sister to suicide (Megan (Elizabeth Harnois) and hercollege-bound friends take one last road trip to the family home out onthe Louisiana bayou. When a handsome local (Tyler Hoechlin)teaches theme the Creole spell of the summer solstice the group triesto resurrect the sister's spirit - with deadly results. Solstice will scare you all the way to its shocking end.Product Features Feature Commentary by Director/Co-Writer Daniel Myrick A terrifying thriller featuring Elizabeth Harnois ShawnAshmore Hilarie Burton Amanda Seyfried and Tyler HoechlinSpecifications Stars: Shawn Ashmore HilarieBurton Amanda Seyfried Format: Color DVD-VideoWidescreen Language: English Subtitles: English Spanish Number of Discs: 1 Rating: PG-13 Run Time: 91 minutes Directed By: Daniel Myrick
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....and they get to their destination safely, where they promptly begin to do all of the things kids in slasher films do. They get drunk, go swimming, sit up late by firelight, and two of them sneak off to have sex. But when morning comes....everyone is still alive! However, some decidedly odd things have begun to happen.
While the film gradually builds its storyline out of elements both real and possibly supernatural (or are they figments of the imagination?), director Dan Myrick ("The Blair Witch Project") skillfully aims his camera into the story, wisely including a few scenes which viewers must surely be expecting (there is a "shower scene", a sequence of the "creepy old man" ominously walking around carrying a machete, etc.) but which never turn out as they would in a formula film. There are a few echoes of "The Haunting Of Hill House", with past traumas of each of the characters surfacing in various ways to ultimately become the driving force behind the plot. The kids discover each other as they discover themselves, and ultimately discover a secret which leads to a double surprise ending (part of which is a bit contrived....but you won't see it coming!).
No film of this type is complete without a few bits of humor and insider gags, and "Solstice" delivers. An early scene shows a minor character wearing the beanie made famous by "The Blair Witch Project", a bulletin board at a country store features several of the "missing" posters made famous by the same film, and R. Lee Ermey's character's name will bring a chuckle to those familiar with his earlier films. Watch closely and you will most likely notice other similar items. Yes, there's a scene lit only by the flashlight carried by a character running through the woods.
We've seen some of this storyline before, and the acting on the part of the principal characters is pretty much what you'd expect from a no-name cast of early 20-somethings. But the unexpected take on the story delivers a worthwhile ride, with a nervous giggle here and there, often when you least expect it. You won't regret the time spent watching this one. Those expecting another "Blair Witch Project" are likely to be very surprised, but ultimately not disappointed.
With this movie though, I watched it with a big group of friends since I was at work and nothing much was going on (and I'm in Iraq so its not like I get to go home to watch it on my TV..heh). The whole group I was with was pretty much into the movie. Of course watching a movie like this will have a bunch of guys, when together, blurting out to the TV for someone to 'just take your top off already' or 'man this movie would be a lot cooler if she'd take her top off'. Guy talk. But after about 20-30 minutes of that, most of everyone was sitting still and getting into the movie.
I think that was because the movie itself has an actual story and the scares are pretty much spread out pretty far from each other. I honestly cant remember the characters names due to me watching this with a group of people. But the names I remember us using was 'Hot Girl' (the main actress), Iceman (the actor that plays Iceman from X-Men), Veronica Mars' dead friend, and then you have the couple who just filled a role because you think they are exterminable. But like another reviewer said, a lot of stuff that you think is going to happend..doesnt. And that's good cause I'm tired of being able to guess the whole movie in about 3 minutes.
Our group of teenagers are spending their senior week (seriously how long has our Iceman been doing teenager roles? For like 6 or 7 years now? Geez) up at a family cabin. One night 'Hot Girl' wakes up to find that the car is on and a item of her dead sisters is lying in the car. She then begins to see wierd things throughout the movie that leads her to believe her sister is haunting her, but why? Maybe it has something to do with the wierd old creepy guy that she meets while taking a jog one morning. I mean hell...it's R. Lee Ermey...so of course I'm gonna start thinking it has to do with him. Have you seen the remake or the prequel of Texas Chainsaw Massacre? I will forever have him in my head as that psychotic cop now. Not the drill segeant from Full Metal Jacket...or not even the dad of the Janitor from 'Scrubs'. But that damn cop and his cold killer ways.
I will warn you though. The movie might seem slow and might seem like it's not going anywhere for quite awhile. But once the movie starts to wrap itself up, you'll be pleasantly pleased with it. I did not see the ending coming for once. Maybe it's cause I wasnt paying 100% attention at the time, but honestly I think its just because they actually surprised me.
If you are walking those isles of Blockbuster or cruising the lists trying to think of a movie to throw in your Netflix queue, then give this movie a try.
My headline says "a surprisingly good mystery" because I have to admit that any thriller centered around teenagers or young adults (20 something) is often, in my view, very lame due to overacting by half-dressed stereotypical teenagers, a cliched-ridden script, a "been there, done that" formula plot, and blood and sex thrown in just for the sake of having them there as if that compensates for all negatives. This film is nothing that you would expect, thankfully.
It is important to note that there is nothing original here other than it combines different genres cleverly and gives you the opposite what you think you might get. This, of course, is all good even though it does copy ideas and moments from better films. Based upon the box description and general early feel of the film, I thought this film would be something like a toned down The Grudge combined with witchcraft elements of The Covenant. It is not like what I thought it would be and as the film progressed I kept thinking "Okay, then it's going to be like . . .", but I kept getting it wrong, which I liked. It was VERY unpredictable unlike most Hollywood teen thrillers/mysteries.
There is a cast of very familiar faces from both television and films and the acting by all is actually quite good. No, no Oscars will be handed out here, but the cast does all they are asked to do very well. As I said before the writers have come up with a very clever mystery that slowly unfolds, but the director (who directed The Blair Witch Project) keeps things interesting and moving in the right direction in spite of the deliberately slow pace. The writers also avoided the typical drivel that they have teenagers utter and that was very refreshing as the plot takes it twists and turns.
The plot twists keep our attention and that is why I simply can't discuss much about this film in which a small group of close friends go to one's family vacation home in the Louisiana Bayou to celebrate the start of summer. The problem arises, however, over having a celebration at all when these friends all witnessed the twin sister of one in this group commit suicide six month ago. Naturally, we are given more details of this event over time and assume the ghostly presence in this Louisiana home is her with a message to her friends and this is where all the plot twists come into play.
This film has some very surprisingly touching moments. The underlying story of a twin moving on after her twin committed suicide is handled very sensitively with very believable dialogue and actions by her and her friends. I was sincerely moved by this storyline. This really took me off guard as this is so not typical in a teen angst kind of film.
Well, that's about it on this small but very good film. Again, if you like the usual blood and guts and sex kind of teenager thriller, then this one is not for you, but you would be missing a quality film by dismissing this one because it is not your typical thriller; I almost did.
Now being a straight to DVD movie I didn't expect much, I expected it to be filled with clichés and to be actually, not that scary. I was wrong as this was a film that a lot of the time gave me the creeps. I expected it in some ways to be very in your face with the hauntings from the beginning. It was nothing of the sort as it paced itself well, it didn't seem to want to be a cliché movie where the girl thinks she's going crazy and so does everyone else until they die or something ridiculous like that. It didn't rush it, it didn't treat the viewer like a child with the attention span of a sparrow. It paced the hauntings and built them up brilliantly until the climax.
The cast is strong with the biggest star in it possibly being Shawn Ashmore of X-Men fame. The acting is both solid and believable and the actors manage to draw you into the situation and make you a part of the situation. Elisabeth Harnois during the "six months earlier" scenes is forced to play both Megan and Sofie, which is a true test of acting ability. She does it well and the conversations and interactions between the two seem un-faltered.
I enjoyed the film and I know a lot of horror fans will too. It's not for the faint hearted as it has its genuinely frightening parts. Buy it and enjoy it, you wont be disappointed. I only wish that more straight to DVD movies were as good as this.