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My Summer as a Goth

USA 2018
produced by
Tara Johnson-Medinger, Brandon Lee Roberts, Gary Nolton, Kymberley J. Franklin, Megan Clare Foster (as Megan Johnson) for Little Miss Anomaly
directed by Tara Johnson-Medinger
starring Natalie Shershow, Jack Levis, Fayra Teeters, Jonas Israel, Jenny White, Carter Allen, Rachelle Henry, Eduardo Reyes, Sarah Overman, Sophie Giberson, Lorraine Bahr, Michael Biesanz, Gregory Miller, Kevin Cook, Payson Mitchell, Sami Yacob-Andrus, Natasha Duvall, Tristan Decker, Frank O'Brien, Connor Muhl, Marvella McPartland, Bob Barr, Lucas Townsend, Mason Treviño Brown, Zach Ovall, Jillian Venters, Dalhia Cortez, Tara Johnson-Medinger, Maddie Bumb
written by Brandon Lee Roberts, Tara Johnson-Medinger, music supervisor: Jana Cushman

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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16 year old Joey's (Natalie Shershow) dad (Gregory Miller) has only just died and now her mom (Sarah Overman) drops her off with her grandparents (Fayra Teeters, Jonas Israel) for the summer because she has to go on a book tour. And even though the grandparents do their best to make her feel welcome, she feels somewhat suffocated - until she meets neighbour boy Victor (Jack Levis), a goth with charisma and attitude whom she finds quite simply fascinating. And he seems to like her as well, but really doesn't care much for her middle-of-the-road appearance, so together with his friends Pen (Jenny White) and Cob (Carter Allen) he turns her as close to a goth as he can. And at first, Joey really enjoys her new lifestyle, which includes spending nights in graveyards and the like, but soon there are first cracks in their relationship, as every time something's not going exactly to Victor's liking, he sulks and/or treats everybody else including Joey with disdain. It goes so far that when Joey's best friend Molly (Rachelle Henry) comes for a visit, she's shocked by his attitude. Also at a genuine goth party, Joey feels she really doesn't fit in, while Victor doesn't even try to hide his embarrassment. But Joey's at a point where it's not so much just about ending a relationship but also finding herself ...

 

In many ways, this film is your typical coming-of-age romance that ticks most of the boxes and deserves extra points for its (virtually) colourful outfits and its "be yourself"-message at the end. However, it's also interesting to compare this movie to the teen hit Twilight from 10 years earlier, which almost certainly has influenced this movie, at least unintentionally - and frankly, My Summer as a Goth manages to go right where the earlier film has gone wrong, maybe by just getting the difference of  fling and the love of one's life, and by taking the creepiness of its protagonist totally into account. And of course, adding a good dose of humour to the proeceedings doesn't hurt either. Now sure, coming-of-age romances aren't everybody's thing, and they work best with a certain age group I've long left behind, but as these movies go, this one's well-made and well-acted, and manages to entertain well anyhow.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD