Summer’s Moon: A Review by Nate Hill 

Summer’s Moon, also given the slightly less exotic title Summer Blood, is a fascinating little family centered psycho sexual treat, starring an actress who previously hadn’t ventures into such intense territory. Ashley Greene is a porcelain beauty best known for those Twilight train wrecks, and its that marketing style these filmmakers have latched onto because of her involvement. The poster has a hazy hue that almost hints at the dreaded vampiric sparkle we’ve come to loathe. It’s picturesque to be sure, but doesn’t really provide any warning to the disturbing, gritty and uncomfortably intimate nature ofnthe story. Greene plays Summer, a wayward drifter who arrives in a small bucolic burg, out to find the father she never knew. Enter the Hoxeys, an I’ll adjusted family of serial killers claiming to be her long lost family, and beckoning her into depravity with all the charm and hospitality that small town folks can muster. Her brother Tom (Peter Mooney) keeps a kidnapped girl in the basement as a plaything and sleeps with his unstable mother (Barbara Nixon), and that’s but a taste of the horror that Summer has waded into. The film takes on new virility when the resident patriarch Gant Hoxey blows back into town, played with visceral ferocity by veteran tough guy Stephen Mchattie. Intense is the word for this guy (ever catch his cameo in A History Of Violence? Christ), and he’s a beast as Gant, Summer’s estranged father, a man who functions on violence and feeds of fear. The film examines how a clan of murderers might indeed function, right down to twisted lover’s spats and drama right out of an R rated Addams Family special. Greene nicely shatters her teen image by bringing us a broken protagonist who finds her dark passenger through resilience and torment, the blackness that sweeps over her soul clearly visible, loomed over by Mchattie’s grim reaper influence. Murder and the desire to do so is regarded as a genetic trait in this film, passed along the line of kin, generation to generation, wreaking havoc in the process. A film that I underestimated going in, a terrific horror entry that takes its it’s with character and suspense, slow burning up to a spectacularly gory third act filled with tension, blood and Mchattie, that icy voiced devil who steals every scene he’s in. Well worth your time. 

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