Review: Solstice (2008)

Director: Daniel Myrick | 87 minutes | drama, horror, thriller | Actors: Elisabeth Harnois, Shawn Ashmore, Tyler Hoechlin, Amanda Seyfried, Matt O’Leary, Hilarie Burton, R. Lee Ermey, Jenna Hildebrand, Lisa Arnold, Lyle Brocato, David Dahlgren, Jacob Hamil, Cliff Johnson, Mark Krasnoff, Jennifer Ramirez , Gary Michael Smith

That teen horror / thrillers do not go out of fashion is proven by “Solstice” once again – a remake of the Scandinavian film “Midsommer” (2003). But don’t expect slasher practices like “Scream” or “I Know What You Did Last Summer”; “Solstice” is walking the supernatural path that has grown in popularity since “The Sixth Sense”. The film is most reminiscent of a childish version of “What Lies Beneath”, not only in terms of characters, but also in terms of elaboration and quality.

Megan (Elisabeth Harnois) and her group of friends go to her parents’ vacation home to celebrate the summer solstice (solstice) there and to seek distraction after her twin sister Sofie (also played by Elisabeth Harnois) committed suicide. But immediately when she arrives she thinks she feels the presence of her sister. Not only she, her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Christian (Shawn Ashmore), feels that he is not alone. The rest of their friends think she is crazy and keep away from it. However, local shop assistant Nick (Tyler Hoechlin) is also interested in the paranormal and tells Megan that around the solstice the dead seek contact with the living. He tries to break the curse she apparently carries, but nothing seems to help. Megan gets sucked deeper and deeper and slowly the secret – and the reason – about Sophie’s suicide unfolds …

In itself, the story of “Solstice” is put together quite well and it remains quite exciting until the last ten minutes. But there is also plenty of reason for criticism: Megan’s so-called friends are quite unsympathetic towards her and the fact that her sister – also their girlfriend – recently committed suicide does not seem to do much to her. In addition, they make very silly and inappropriate jokes when Megan needs their support and they seem to be more interested in their own entertainment than Megan’s bad state. Ultimately, they are quite disturbing, and not just for Megan.

The actors and actresses are mediocre at worst, but generally not too bad. Especially Harnois and Hoechlin stand out. The only one that is a bit disappointing is Amanda Seyfried who plays Zoe, one of Megan’s friends. She is known for “Mean Girls” in which she was very convincing, but unfortunately she seems much less appropriate in a thriller. Her big break came with “Mamma Mia! The Movie “. Seyfried, however, is not inferior to the average teenager who normally appears in these types of thrillers.

Despite the necessary evocative tension in “Solstice”, the film does not really know what to do: a night of scary horror. Everything is just too little and too unconvincing for that. It’s not true horror – although some blood is spilled here and there – and therefore “Solstice” is probably too tame for fans of this genre. Somewhat disappointing, but not completely lost.

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