Ice Cream Truck, The (2017)

Starring Deanna Russo, Emil Johnsen, John Redlinger

Directed by Megan Freels Johnston


Suburbia can be a pretty scary place when you’re used to city life. Sometimes the hustle and bustle and looming crowded corners can pale in comparison to the residents of a small neighborhood in which everyone knows each other… and knows a little too much.

Such is the case for Mary (Deanna Russo), the newest resident of Anytown, USA. Mary has the perfect family, and it’s time to move into the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. There’s just one catch: Sometimes, no matter how great things seem on a personal level, we all have that spark of youth inside us that we’re dying to recapture. A time when being reckless was a hell of a lot more fun than being responsible. Trust me, the first time someone calls you “Sir” or “Ma’am” can be agonizing.

Such is the case for Mary, who arrives a few days earlier to their new digs before the fam does. With nothing to do, she starts meeting the neighbors, who are… well… exactly what you think they are. Two people do stand out to Mary, and one of them (John Redlinger) is sporting lots of weed and washboard abs. Enticing to say the least, especially to this very bored housewife. The other… well the other is our title character (Emil Johnsen); and once he rears his head, a whole lot of sinister comes along with him. Never have ice cream truck bells sounded so haunting. There are lots of twists and turns to be had here, but for the sake of having a fun ride, we shall refrain from spoiling them as that’s all you really need to know about the story.

Megan Freels Johnston’s The Ice Cream Truck is as much of a throwback to the golden era of late Seventies/early Eighties slasher films as Mary is an adult looking for some youthful excitement. Russo unequivocally nails her role and plays it with all the naughty, secretive wonder anyone in her situation… male or female… would. Despite the titular killer, this is very much her movie, and Johnston, through deft direction and fine storytelling ability, gives her a playground to revel in.

Also of note is the Carpenter-esque score by Michael Boateng, which perfectly fits “The Twilight Zone”/slasher flick vibe of the movie. Really good stuff here. If the film falls a bit short anywhere, it’s in the gore department, which may not be as red as some horrorhounds would like it to be, but that isn’t exactly the idea here, kids.

The Ice Cream Truck is the kind of movie that relies more on suspense than it does shock. It’s the kind of flick you cozy up with some friends and just take the ride. The Ice Cream Truck delivers more than just two scoops of lunacy covered in psychotic nuts and sprinkles. Chill out, and eat it up!

The Ice Cream Truck will be released in select theaters and On Demand August 18, 2017.

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Steve Barton

You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

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