“Summer’s Blood” is a Canadian horror film so you know it is going to be absolutely crazy, weird and on another level completely! Like a couple other Canadian films that contain incest (Blood, Cadavres) this one doesn’t apologize for its subject matter. It’s over the top and definitely not mainstream. From the on-slot it looks like a typical thriller film, with a young girl getting into a car with a stranger, but then it throws everything conventional about the genre out the window! Strap yourself in tight cause you are in for one wild ride!
A rebellious teenager, Summer Matthews (Ashley Greene) finds out her mother’s secret, her unknown father is alive, and she decides to seek him out. She hitchhikes to a small village called Massey with an old picture of her father, expecting that someone might identify him. When she arrives in the community, she shoplifts from a store, but the local sheriff sees her and chases her. However, a nice boy Tom Hoxey (Peter Mooney), a local handyman, helps her to flee and they go out on date that night. Tom takes her home where he lives with his mother, Gaia, and they have one night stand. The next morning, just as Summer is ready to go, she finds out that Tom is not quite the perfect gentleman.
To Summer’s horror, Tom and his mother happen to be psychopaths. Tom catches young girls off-guard and brings them down to his basement where he has a human garden. Here he subjects them to inhuman torture if the girls try to escape. Summer tries to escape, but cannot and decides it is better to gain Tom’s trust. During the course of her stay, we learn a lot of crazy stuff like Tom’s father is a rapist and killer, and that she and Tom are related because (big drumroll) he is also Summer’s father! When he returns home her long awaited fairytale reunion is marred by the fact that he wants to start a family with her! Did I mention that is is a very very incest heavy film? Tom is then shot by his father when he decides to intervene, as is his mother. Her father takes her away to a secluded area where there is only a woman, whom he plans to rape and kill, but when he is distracted, Summer manages to sneak up and kill him. How is that for a soap opera!
This is yet another example (see The House at the End of the Street) of a horror film where some messed up guy has his sister chained up.
I found this over the top film fairly entertaining with all its sick content. Keep in mind I have seen a lot of disturbing and weird films, so nothing phases me! It is not a gory horror film or all that scary, but instead plunges the viewer into the lives of this very twisted family.
And one twisted family it is! I think this film wins for the most all around incest in one movie! Let me try and sum it up for you. Tom has some sort of a sexual relationship with the mother, once Tom learns that he has abducted and had sex with his half sister Summer, he grows even more attached to her and has sex with her again. Once the father comes home he wants to get rid of his current family and make a new one with his hot new daughter Summer. So you see incest is everywhere! Nearly everyone has supposedly had sex with everyone, except Tom and his father – and I am surprised it didn’t go there!
Peter Mooney was great in his role, I knew him from the TV show Camelot (in which he didn’t give an all that memorable performance) but as Tom, he was brilliant. He was genuinely credible as a sick freak who can pass for normal to the outside world, and when he does show his true colors, it doesn’t come off as forced. Canadian veteran Stephen McHattie (a mixture of Christopher Walken and Lance Henriksen) is clearly the best actor of the bunch and also does a chilling performance. Ashley Green, the films biggest star thanks to the Twilight franchise, gave the weakest performance. She wasn’t that believable in her role which I think is one of the reasons the movie might come off more stupid than it is. I am really surprised that such a huge star like her was even in a film like this, given the subject matter. I figure she must have filmed it before she got Twilight. However, her decision to hold back on the nudity really makes no sense in a film where her character climbs into bed with a guy within ten minutes of having met him. So that means she’s failing to give us the gratuitous part of the gratuitous sex scene. What sense does that make? And her character sure does some implausible things after that. I mean, after she’s been taken down into the cellar and tortured, why on earth would Greene bother having a chat to her captor about her personal life? I know kidnap victims don’t have a whole lot of options but either she’s way too chummy with the guy or he’s a total dummy. These scenes also prove to be a little stagey, too.
Sure this film has its problems, but I welcome its uniqueness and its disturbing themes. It is in the same vein as another weird film I love called “Dead Girl” and has hard subject matter like “The Girl Next Door,” although this one doesn’t have much actual sex or nudity at all – so it is quite safe in that regard. It sure is different, a mixture of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Flowers in the Attic” is the best comparison I can come up with. There’s some really disturbing stuff in this, and good film or not, you’re unlikely to shake it off immediately afterwards. That’s gotta count for something, I think. This underrated low budget film is certainly worth a look if you think you are looking for some solid mixed bag horror with a big heaping plate of incest and a side of creepy!