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.
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*
2 1/2 out of 5
2 out of 5
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