A couple of months ago we got the first word on Summer of ‘84, a horror-thriller set in the early 1980s; and today we have an update that provides quite a bit more info now that filming has wrapped.
Co-produced and written by Matt Leslie along with writing partner Stephen J. Smith and directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell of RKSS (Turbo Kid), Summer of ‘84 explores the idea that every serial killer lives next door to someone. That chilling possibility is invigorating to 15-year old Davey Armstrong, who spends his summer with his three best friends investigating his police officer neighbor, Mr. Mackey, convinced he is the local serial killer all over the news.
Leading the ensemble cast are Rich Sommer (“Mad Men”) as Officer Wayne Mackey and Tiera Skovbye (“Riverdale”) as Nikki Kaszuba. They are joined by a quartet of talented young actors: Graham Verchere (“Fargo”) as Davey Armstrong, Judah Lewis (Demolition) as Tommy “Eats” Eaton, Caleb Emery (Fist Fight, Goosebumps) as Dale “Woody” Woodworth, and Cory Grüter-Andrew (pictured below; “The 100,” “Legends of Tomorrow”) as Curtis Farraday.
“Curtis Farraday is the ‘smart one’ of the four,” says Grüter-Andrew, who adds that he’s never been sadder to see a summer job end. “He looks up to Eats (Lewis) and wants to be cool and confident just like him but doesn’t have the ‘it’ factor. Compared to the other boys he’s a bit of a nerd, but he’s found a snug spot in this little group.”
As for what it was like working with three directors, Cory says, “RKSS is amazing because they work so well together. Yoann Whissell, also the brother of Anouk Whissell, works closely with the cast; whereas, François Simard works closely with Jean Phillip Bernier (our director of photography) to get the right angles to line up shots just right. He also storyboards everything and does an awesome job at it!”
Growing up on a quiet cul-de-sac in Ipswich, Massachusetts, Davey’s desperate to believe there’s more to life than what he sees from his bedroom window. For him, every tabloid cover is a peek into the world as it really is, as it really must be past the borders of the humdrum neighborhood where he and his best friends Eats, Farraday, and Woody have grown up.
Sure, they spend their summers playing nighttime flashlight tag (“Manhunt”), riding their BMX bikes all over town, and spying on the hot, sometimes topless chick next door, Nikki… but Davey thirsts for more. As their investigation heats up, Davey and his best buds soon discover Mr. Mackey is on to them, and their suspicions quickly become all too real.