Directed by: Evan Jacobs
Written by: Evan Jacobs
Starring: Micheal J. Vogelsang, Austin Hua, Carlos Ortega, Angelique Flores, Carolyn Giardini
For three middle school boys, their plans to have some fun is going to result in a suspenseful, sinister and dramatic night.
Gerry, Bryan and Erol are three student friends, who live in Spring Valley, California. The summer holidays are almost over and they want to make the most of their remaining free time. Much to their delight, two girls from school invite them to a party. Later that day, the three boys are at the house of Jerry, whose parents are away. There is a serial killer on the loose called 'Ghost', so when they spot a sinister-looking car outside in the neighborhood, they attack the driver and bring him in the house, believing him to be the murderer. The driver is a young man named Thomas, who denies being the culprit and he ends up befriending the boys and he drives them to the party. What follows is an unusual and dangerous series of events.
This animated feature operates as a suspenseful thriller and a coming-of-age story. It explores themes of student life, romance, self-discovery and also dark areas such as crime.
The animation was done utilizing a Mac computer and it looks simple, like drawings that could had been done by children the same age as the protagonists and that is not a bad thing, as that way the film provides the feeling that it is about simple boys. Generally, the characters, environments and colors are plain, kind of like South Park.
There are also brief live-action sequences throughout. They appear when the heroes are on the move outdoors and they seem to be point-of-view shots from them as they walk on the pavement of look outside through a moving vehicle. The footage also appears old, scratched and damaged, giving the impression that it was filmed decades ago, which works well, as the plot is set during the eighties.
As far as the voice acting goes, there does not seem to be much emotion. It is not clear how the characters are feeling, because the tone and quality of their voices more or less remains the same, regardless of what they are going through. Also, the voices of the students do not sound like they belong to people their age.
It should be pointed out that there are adult themes, such as crime and prostitution and there are scenes of violence, murder and profanity.
The strongest element that Cool Summer possesses is suspense. Who is Thomas? Is he the killer? Will he end up harming the boys? He is also the most intruiging character and the others come no way near.
This animated feature is an interesting achievement that is worth pursuing.