Solstice (DVD)

Solstice DVD (click for larger image)Reviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Elisabeth Harnois, R. Lee Ermey, Shawn Ashmore, Matt O’Leary, Tyler Hoechlin

Directed by Daniel Myrick

Distributed by Genius Products

Well, you can’t hit it out of the park every time. Director Daniel Myrick may have struck gold with The Blair Witch Project and more recently delivered the chills with, Believers (review here), but his latest effort Solstice gives viewers nothing more than your average pretty young person in peril spook-fest.

Let’s start at the beginning …

After Megan (Harnois) loses her twin sister to suicide, she heads off to a remote family cabin with her friends to kick back, drink, and sort things out. Things all go according to plan until she meets the prerequisite local cute guy who makes her aware that during the Summer Solstice it may be possible to communicate with the dead via an old Louisiana bayou ritual. Quite the pick-up attempt, eh? Maybe if he just would have spit chicken blood in her face, he could have landed her right in the sack! In any event the “hot” local dude meets up with Megan and her buds; they perform some rites and end up getting the dead on the old para-psychological horn. Trouble is it’s not Megan’s sister who answers. It’s some other spirit somehow tied not only to Megan, but also to her friends and the old creepy guy (Ermey) who lives across the lake.

Solstice DVD (click for larger image)Sounds like some quick and easy fun, right? Wrong. The pacing of Solstice drags the viewer to the finish line nearly half asleep. I understand slow burn build-ups, but come on! There’s no reason for ninety minutes to feel like it’s passing at a snail’s pace.

Furthermore, once the flick gets you to where it finally wants to be, you realize you’ve treaded this ground countless times before as an all too familiar ending unfolds. Simply put, and without giving away any spoilers, Solstice plays like a really plodding version of Pumpkinhead minus the badass looking demon.

In terms of extras all we get is a commentary by Myrick, who, despite his best attempts, fails to make the viewing experience any more energetic, enjoyable, or interesting.

Coming from a guy whose body of work has been anything but cookie-cutter, Solstice disappoints with its surprising blandness and heavy-handed mediocrity. Come on, Daniel! You’ve proved already that there are much scarier things in the woods than this.

*Happily kicks map in the creek*

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with director Daniel Myrick


    2 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    2 out of 5

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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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    • ruffbuffy

      Altered was worth its weight in gold; this was pedestrian at best.

    • Uncle Creepy

      Solstice came after Believers which was years apart from BWP.

      Both it and Altered (directed by Ed Sanchez) were great!

    • EricBoyd

      Well wasn’t this film right after Blair Witch? With that film success I’m sure Myrick was pressured into doing something with more studio-friendly appeal. So this is too bad.

      But past this the Blair Witch team has been on fire with Believers and Altered, which were both excellent, I felt–