FINAL SUMMER (2022) 14 reviews of slasher horror with UK release date

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‘In 1991 Camp Silverlake opened for the final time.’
Final Summer is a 2022 American slasher horror film about a group of camp counsellors fighting for their lives against a masked killer.

Written, co-produced and directed by John Isberg, making his feature directorial debut. Also produced by Kevin Lau and Robert Patrick Stern.

The Front 76 Films-The Line Film Company production stars Jenna Kohn, Wyatt Taber, Bishop Stevens, Myles Valentine, Charlie Bauer, Charlee Amacher, Ricardo Whitehead.  Thom Mathews has a cameo role.

It is late summer 1991 and the final day of summer camp at Camp Silverlake when tragedy strikes. That evening, as the counsellors attempt to shut down the camp for the season, someone is waiting in the darkness to seek revenge on the unsuspecting camp.

Who is the masked killer? Is it the camp urban legend? Or is it something more sinister? Not everything is what it seems at Camp Silverlake…


“I don’t know if any modern slasher will ever make me feel like one from 1981, but this one certainly tries. It doesn’t all come together in the end, but it’s a fine modern take on the form and one obviously made with love for the genre.” B&S About Movies

“The mystery of the killer is largely non-existent here as some characters who conveniently disappear for large portions end up holding the blade rather than being chased by it. On the flip side, the killer does have a great look with a pullover skull mask to disguise their identity, which looks extra creepy in some sequences. Filming-wise it does suffer from way too many aerial drone shots which may have been to pad out the runtime slightly.” Bloody Flicks

“Sure there’s heart in Final Summer, however, it’s Friday the 13th tribute and love for schlock horror just falls short with just so much behind this film having minimal effort put into it. No characters to latch onto and not to mention some pretty ugly camerawork presented, it’s just super hard to recommend, though I’m certain this film will eventually find the audience it’s looking for.” Cinefied

“It’s evident where Isberg got his inspiration; the film is clever and self-aware, in that some of its characters even reference Friday the 13th in comparison to the situation they’re in. In that way, Final Summer adds comedic elements to the otherwise dark narrative; between its slashings and blood squirts, the counselors are teens with a keen sense of humor.” 80% Downright Creepy

“Weak attempt at a throwback slasher that wants to be Friday the 13th but ends up feeling more like Friday the 13th: The Game: The Movie with the characters constantly running between camp buildings trying to hide from the killer. The movie supposedly takes place in 1991 but aside from the lack of cell phones and a few small touches such as the year being printed on the camp counselor shirts, this feels very much like a modern movie with lens flares and blurry cinematography…” ★★ Fake Voorhees

” …not completely explaining the big reveal was a mistake, as the sickie back story is the dessert topping of slashers. Finally, there is a feeling that there should have been more elaborate murder sequences, as that is the reason we all showed up. I am not asking for a gore show, but some interesting kill locations and corpse tableaus go a long way. ” 7 out of 10, Film Threat

Final Summer is a pretty entertaining summer camp slasher homage, particularly to the more grounded and brutal seasonal horrors of the late 70s and early 80s like Friday the 13th, The Burning, and Madman. Complete with bloody stabbings, beheadings, and bludgeonings that are not played for laughs or winks or nods. It’s a pretty simple premise.” 3.5 out of 5, iHorror

“Most films in the genre keep their killer hidden from the cast until the last possible moment, upping the element of surprise. Isberg, however, greets his characters with the masked killer roughly thirty minutes in, turning this into a repetitive back and forth in which they run from cabin to cabin, find mind-numbing reasons to split up (that old trope), and get killed. Rinse and repeat.” ★ Killer Horror Critic


“For every independent horror movie in the past 10 years that has billed itself as a homage to and/or rebirth of the 1980s slasher phase, and then sucked royally, it brings me great satisfaction to announce that Final Summer is the real deal when it comes to ah ah ah, ch ch ch, kill kill kill cinema […] Even more refreshing, the counselors look and act like real people.” Leo Weekly

Final Summer ultimately works where so many other films fail because it embraces some of the tropes of the “summer camp killer” sub-genre, and makes up for the ones it doesn’t with superior writing, acting, direction, and yes, film-making. A dark, moody ride that delivers some genuine scares, and chills, and while very, very familiar, never once comes off as a rip-off.” Pop Horror

” …you just have to give in, have fun, and enjoy the carnage that’s about to come your way. Filled with so many fun horror movie tropes (Splitting up, declaring you’ll be right back, etc… ), Final Summer makes no bones about this particular film and characters being wholly self-aware to the extent that someone even chimes in to sing Jason’s signature theme!” Rock and Roll Fables

“I can’t imagine audiences will have very little emotional attachment to any of the characters, which feel mostly disposable. When the counselors are in danger or worse, murdered, it doesn’t feel significant. Final Summer has a story that suffers because it’s so predictable. If you’re in the mood for a slasher flick, just watch the original Friday the 13th.” Screen Zealots

“While other modern slasher films try to deconstruct or layer with socio-political messages from one side of the spectrum or the other, Final Summer gives fans what they need; a straight-up, old-school style, summer-camp “whodunnit” slasher with a memorable antagonist. While some of the acting is a bit uneven, Jenna Kohn (Lexi), plays her part well giving a good mix of sass, smarts, and innocence…” Uphill Both Ways

“The production values are all solid, and the cast members play their roles convincingly […] Isberg plays everything straight here — as do the actors — giving the film a satisfyingly serious tone without stepping into either camp comedy or overly dark atmosphere. The film sets out to entertain in the manner of its inspirations, and it does a terrific job of it.” When It Was Cool

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Final Summer had its world premiere on Saturday, August 13, 2022, at the Popcorn Frights film festival at the Savor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Write-director John Isberg commented: “I’m very excited to premiere Final Summer at Popcorn Frights Film Festival! The festival team have been really supportive and great to work with. After all the insanity of making an indie film […] all the battles and ups and downs, to be able to share it with such great people, awesome filmmakers and a solid community of horror fans is really special! I’m very grateful to the staff and honoured to be included in the festival. It’s been a dream years in the making and I can’t wait to come down and celebrate with everyone, thank you!”

In the UK, Final Summer receives a digital release on September 18, 2023, courtesy of Miracle Media Ltd.


Technical details:
1 hour 30 minutes

Filming locations:
Camp Drake, Fairmount, Illinois (Camp Silverlake)
211 N Market Street, Champaign, Illinois (flashback)

More movies with Thom Mathews

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