Solstice (2008) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Solstice (2008) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on July 09th, 2019 | Movie Review | Drama, Tourist, Cabin in the Woods, Thriller, Teen

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It's about a group of friends who travel to the Louisiana bayou to celebrate the summer solstice, only to learn of some familiar* skeletons hidden in their closets.

Solstice was directed by Daniel Myrick (who also directed The Objective) and stars Elisabeth Harnois (from Bad Meat), Shawn Ashmore (from Devil's Gate, Frozen) and Amanda Seyfried (from Jennifer's Body).

You Can't Bury the Truth

Solstice Review

Five years before solstice was released there was a movie called Midsummer, a Danish horror movie. My review of Midsummer basically describes it as a Danish knockoff of I Know What You Did Last Summer. Well, six months after Midsummer was released in Denmark an American studio bought the rights for an American version of Midsummer called Solstice. Not a remake of Midsummer. Not a re-imagining of Midsummer. Solstice is nearly a scene-by-scene duplicate of Midsummer. *The aforementioned closet skeletons are literally the same skeletons in both movies, just belonging to different characters. Everything is essentially the same.

If you've ever seen the reboot of Psycho from 1998 you know what I mean.

Now, with that on the record, it's fairly unlikely that the original Danish Midsummer is on anyone's radar, especially after Ari Aster's Midsommar. This makes Solstice a "new to us" movie here in the States, kind of like how The Ring was a "new" movie back in '02, same with The Grudge in '04 (despite Ringu and Ju-On being hits in Japan on a couple years prior).

Moving on to Solstice. It's a tame PG-13 thriller about some teens who accidentally kill a kid but decide to stash her body instead of calling the cops. One of the teens goes on to off herself while the others get haunted by the kids ghost. There's more to it of course, but this is the gist. There's a few shocking scenes, but overall it's very similar in style to movies like The Haunting in Connecticut 2 and Slender Man which rely heavily on tropes and and cheap scares.

There's one scene in Solstice where all of the teens are standing in a lake performing a seance to chat with the dead kid. It was supposed to be a serious scene, but I couldn't help but be reminded of this...

Overall, I'd have to say Solstice is a forgettable movie. It had a good story, good characters and was in a fantastic setting for a horror movie, it just felt shallow and the story felt rushed. There was no time given to proper story or character development, it all felt very casually produced. Midsummer on the other hand was nothing but story and character development, it was actually 90% non-horror. So which is better, a movie that feels like a really long trailer or one that's mostly drama? Neither, watch I Know What You Did Last Summer instead.

Worth Watching?

Nope. Unless you're looking for a generic thriller that's safe to watch with your kids, I'd slowly walk away from this one.

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