Summer's Moon

Dir: Lee Demarbre
Star: Ashley Greene, Peter Mooney, Barbara Niven, Stephen McHattie

After her mother dies, Summer (Greene) heads off to search for her father, whom she barely knew. She meets Tom Hoxey (Mooney), who initially seems very nice, but soon discovers he has a fondness for keeping girls chained up in his basement in a "human garden". Turns out, it's not just him either: his mother (Niven) is almost as many sandwiches short of a picnic, knowing of her son's tendencies, even if she does not actively participate in the torture. Summer decides she will be better off trying to get into Tom's confidence, so she can then make an escape bid. However, the patriarch of the Hokey clan (McHattie) comes back, and he turns out to be the loopiest of them all.

The rating was going to be a lot lower until McHattie showed up, as neither Greene nor Mooney have any screen presence to speak of, and there's a weird vibe to much of their dialogue, like it was looped in post. Their relationship is also pretty unconvincing: Tom seems far too easily convinced to let Summer meander around freely, especially given her previous attempt to escape. Well, I guess, he's a loony, and there's no telling with them, right? Interest was flickering on the edge of being extinguished, when McHattie arrived a defibrillator. He schooled the young pups, Mooney in particular, in the art of projecting menace, giving the convincing impression, through word, deed and gaze, that his character is capable of any act, no matter how heinous, at any time. The rest of the film is much more interesting as a result, and one only wonders what the results might have been like, if it had been him who kidnapped Summer, rather than his offspring.

[September 2012]

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