Starring Deanna Russo, Emil Johnsen, John Redlinger
Directed by Megan Freels Johnston
Distributed by Uncork’d Entertainment
When I first had the opportunity of reviewing director Megan Freels Johnston’s Rebound back in 2014, I was made aware that she was the granddaughter of novelist and screenwriter Elmore Leonard, but I had no clue of how much of his storytelling ability she had inherited. Needless to say, I was impressed with her debut film, and I’m loving her follow-up presentation, The Ice Cream Truck, and trust me when I say, if you hated those damn eerie tunes played over a frozen dairy treat vehicle’s speakers in the past, you haven’t seen anything yet.
This slightly mind-bending thriller takes place in a small suburban town, complete with well-manicured lawns and overly nosy neighbors, and it’s where Mary (Russo) and her family are moving into a new home. The gist here is that Mary is actually returning to her old stomping grounds, and she’s patiently (ahem) awaiting the arrival of her husband and two kids – small details to be hammered out when daddy’s job requires relocation, but that’s all in the rearview mirror. So here’s Mary, all by herself in this nice big undecorated home, and her initial welcoming is a bit on the odd side, complete with over-imbibing housewives, a very creepy mover (Jeffrey Daniel Phillips) and a young teen boy (Redlinger) all too happy to aid Mary with her… yard work, if you will. Aside from these distractions, she’s somewhat in tune with how the new dynamic is playing out, but something about the old (new) neighborhood just doesn’t seem copacetic. Did you all hear that? There it is again – it’s the ice cream man and that friggin’ creepy music, blaring from his loudspeaker as he rolls down the street, peddling his frigid delights.
The man with the apron and scoop is Emil Johnsen, and he delivers an intently stoic, yet amazingly unsettling performance as the guy who’ll smile as he takes your order, then remain placid as your blood soaks his all-white threads. He kills with unknown intent, and while his slayings are a bit on the tepid side, it’s still the inclination of a severely demented soul patrolling the streets, dispatching innocent folk who come looking for decadence with their dessert. What makes this film work so well is that Johnston doesn’t hang her hat on one particular format, instead forming a story around this tiny region of town, and using the actions of others to assist in the conveyance of the tale. Will lonely Mary be tempted by her smooth-talking young yard-employee? Is there a concrete motive other than complete insanity for the murders committed by the ice cream man…and just when in the blue hell are Mary’s family planning on arriving in town? These are all questions that beg for answers, and although the film does walk you through the day-to-day a bit lethargically, it’s all for the betterment of the plot. Russo is solid in her role of the austere mother, yet she plays a woman who looks as if she needs to break out for her own sanity. Both Johnsen and Phillips (in a far too brief role) are fantastic at depicting guys you’d want to douse yourself in turpentine after meeting them – well casted, indeed.
At the end of it all, I can absolutely recommend The Ice Cream Truck for those wanting a little suburban mystique and murder in their diet…but please, don’t ask the guy behind the wheel if you can hop in the back and pick out a flavor – BAD IDEA.
The Ice Cream Truck is recommended for those wanting a little suburban mystique and murder in their diet!
- virgo02 I really liked the movie when it came out and I still do. I just watched it the other day. I still can't believe they took away the sibling part of the movie. That too me made it more suspenseful. The...
- Nick Greeley Nice clickbait. It’s OLD news that H20 started as a passion project for her, but everything fell apart when Carpenter and Hill didn’t come back, and Moustapha Akkad refused to let the writers kill...
- Mackey Would be awesome if Amazon or Netflix could save "The Exorcist" too
- One-Eye I remember it as being one of the better post SCREAM slasher movies. I certainly haven't watched it since then.
- One-Eye I kind of dig how Osment is just like "Yeah, I'm fat and have a big, bushy beard. And that's how I'm gonna stay now..."
Join the Box of Dread Mailing List
THE FIRST PURGE Director On Bringing Real-Life Horror to the Series
Blumhouse’s UPGRADE Gets Claymation Poster Treatment
Bram Stoker’s SHADOWBUILDER w/ Rooker and Todd Hits Blu-ray in August
Fantasia 2018 Second Wave Films Include Blumhouse’s HURT
HEREDITARY Officially Box-Office Hit
Bill Skarsgard on Stephen King’s IT: CHAPTER 2’s Adult Cast
Hollywood Science Fiction Museum Founder Arrested on Child Pornography Charges
5 Zombie Films That Flipped The Script
Gender Bashing: Manly Spectacle in PREDATOR
New Stephen King Movie TRAPPED Announced by Richard Chizmar
HEREDITARY – Interview with Writer-Director Ari Aster and the Cast
THE MIMIC – Exclusive Clip Introduces Us to The Girl
Dinosaurs Make Lousy Organ Donors in the TRIASSIC WORLD Trailer
Exclusive: Dinosaurs, Golden Retrievers, and PREHYSTERIA! Oh My!
Exclusive: Creepy Forest Monsters Gonna Creep in THE RAKE
Editorials3 days ago
Let’s Explain the Ending to HEREDITARY
News3 days ago
Netflix Steps in to #SaveLUCIFER
News5 days ago
Hulu’s CASTLE ROCK Will Be Filled With Stephen King Easter Eggs
News2 days ago
FRIDAY THE 13TH Meets MEAN GIRLS in FAT CAMP MASSACRE
Drinking With the Dread4 days ago
Drinking With The Dread: A PREDATOR and PREDATOR 2 Double Down!
Reviews3 days ago
HELL’S KITTY Review – This Little Feline Sure Ain’t No Pu**y!
News2 days ago
Jamie Lee Curtis Did HALLOWEEN: H20 For the Paycheck
News4 days ago
AHS Season 8 Officially Coven/Murder House Crossover!