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Hell of a Summer 2023 Movie Review
I acknowledge that this movie isn’t going to be for everyone. Some may find the very Gen Z characters, humour, and “style” of the film somewhat grating (quick editing, a very self aware smart you-know-what vibe). The pacing does feel a *tad* off, with a lot of time spent on the characters (which I do ultimately believes is the film’s best aspect, but more on that later). There are awkward shots here and there I think the actual camp where this film takes place could’ve been shown a bit more, at times, the cinematography feels a bit too restrictive and small.
That all is to say though, this movie otherwise rocks. Hell of a Summer is probably the best slasher I’ve seen in years, because it focuses on something most films in this ilk forget about: the characters. The best thing about slashers is seeing how interesting, funny, sometimes awful, people react to a terrifying, but utterly believable situation. This film nails that aspect, giving us a hilarious ensemble, well-written ensemble cast and tight script to maximize the setting and premise.
I feel like everyone here was absolutely amazing for their roles; Finn Wolfhard and Billy Byrk have incredible natural chemistry and comic timing, but they aren’t really the stars of the show here (well, not entirely). Fred Hechinger’s leading man Jason (reference intended) is perfect for the role, same with Abby Quinn as Claire. They both just “understood the assignment” as the kids say. Everyone did, really. I can’t gush enough about how awesome this cast and the writing for these characters were. This is one of the few horror movies I can say generally portray humanity in a mostly positive way and has a lot of heart and warmth.
It’s a nice change from what we usually expect from these movies and honestly, I loved it. I think back to Scream VI (sorry, still not over it) and how cynical, stupid, and lazy that film was and it makes me appreciate Hell of a Summer even more. This is a slasher with a purpose. I really hope it can be seen by as many people as possible, because I can totally see this being a cult classic.