Solstice (2008) starring Elisabeth Harnois, Shawn Ashmore, Hilarie Burton, Amanda Seyfried, Tyler Hoechlin directed by Daniel Myrick Movie Review

Solstice (2008)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Elisabeth Harnois and Hilarie Burton in Solstice (2008)

A Spooky Midsummer's Night

The death of her twin sister hit Megan (Elisabeth Harnois) hard and so with the blessing of her father she heads away with her friends; Christian (Shawn Ashmore), Zoe (Amanda Seyfried), Mark (Matt O'Leary) and Alicia (Hilarie Burton) to spend time at the family's house by the lake. On the way there the friends stop of at a nearby store where Megan not only gets chatty with Nick (Tyler Hoechlin) who works there but gives Megan a magazine on talking to the dead during the summer solstice. Shortly after reaching the house Megan has a weird feeling that her dead sister Sofie (Elisabeth Harnois) is trying to contact her from beyond the grace. But things take another turn when she discovers a picture of a missing girl which might be connected to her sister's death and connected to Leonard (R. Lee Ermey), a creepy local.

Everything about "Solstice" screams cliche as we have friends staying in a summer house, strange goings on, shadows which move, communications from beyond the grave and even a creepy old local. Basically as I watched "Solstice" I was unable to stop my mind from thinking of the countless other horror movies with similar stories, characters, events and so on.

Amanda Seyfried in Solstice (2008)

Now for some that might be off putting and I will admit some of the forced delivery of dialogue was but there is a mystery to "Solstice" which is its saving grace. That mystery is simply what is going on and why and director Daniel Myrick nicely takes us through the story with the use of flashbacks to build the story, cause us to suspect certain things and then hit us with a surprise of sorts once we learn as to what is going on with all the spooky stuff. I say of sorts because I would imagine many a horror fan will have there suspicions early on as to what is really going on with the clues clearly being there.

The thing about "Solstice" is that despite a cast featuring some now familiar names it was released straight to DVD and there is a reason for that, it is forgettable. Despite the mystery of the spooky goings on there isn't a great deal with stays with you and it certainly doesn't deliver any real horror be it ominous atmosphere or frights. In fact the close it got to being uncomfortable for me was a scene involving a split finger nail being pulled back. It is what is lacking because "Solstice" is a movie perfect for big fright scenes with something as simple as a bird flying in to a window in the still of night being all it needed to give it some edge.

What this all boils down to is that this sadly is one "Solstice" you won't be remembering due to its lack of horror. It means that whilst okay it is also bland and more a movie for a young teen audience not ready for anything more nasty or unsettling.