|Directed by||Daniel Myrick|
|Produced by||Adam Del Deo
James D. Stern
|Written by||Daniel Myrick
R. Lee Ermey
|Music by||Jane Antonia Cornish|
|Cinematography||M. David Mullen|
|Edited by||Mathilde Bonnefoy|
|Distributed by||Weinstein Company|
|January 1, 2008|
Solstice is a 2008 American horror film directed by Daniel Myrick and co-written by Myrick, Ethan Erwin and Martin Musatov. The film is a remake of the 2003 Swedish-Danish thriller Midsommer. It stars Elisabeth Harnois, Shawn Ashmore, Hilarie Burton, Amanda Seyfried, Tyler Hoechlin, and Matt O'Leary.
Megan (Harnois) has been distraught since her twin sister Sophie (Harnois) committed suicide a few months ago. When it comes time for the annual summer solstice trip to a lake house in the bayous of Louisiana with her friends, Megan reluctantly decides to go. Once the five friends arrive, Megan soon begins to suspect that her dead sister is trying to communicate with her as the solstice—the time when our world and the next are closest—approaches. She sees numerous shadow-like figures, mud runs from all the taps, and Megan is "followed" by Sophie's key chain that she keeps getting rid of. Whenever the shadow figure appears, or Megan has a nightmare, the key chain appears.
Megan, on advice from Nick, goes outside, wraps a white cloth around the key chain and buries it, which should expel the spirit. She goes for a bath, but mud runs from the tap and the spirit appears. After it disappears again, the key chain is lying on the floor.
Megan goes running, but she trips over a hole in the ground, and cracks her nail (which she had foreseen in several nightmares). As she limps back to the road, she meets Leonard again. Inside his van, she sees a hat identical to Sophie's. The next day, the day of the solstice, after recovering from her fall, she walks down to Leonard's house. She finds farming equipment and several large knives.
Inside the house, she looks around, and finds a young girl's bedroom. On the cabinet, Megan notices a cutting from a newspaper regarding Malin, a young girl who disappeared the year before. Leonard arrives home, and Megan has to jump out of the girl's window to escape.
Back at the lake house, Nick comes for dinner on the night before the solstice. Megan tells him about the chain and what she believes is Sophie's ghost. All six of the friends go into the lake in their underwear and Nick calls forth the spirit with wine, which then drags Megan under the water. As her friends try to get her out, she sees more visions. They all get out of the lake afterwards.
Megan realizes that the ghost is not that of Sophie, but Malin, and she takes Nick to the ruins she encountered earlier, when she fell over. The other friends all follow, including Christian with a gun. Nick and Megan get split up, and Christian almost shoots Nick. Megan then digs up Malin's body, and finds that the key on the key chain is for Malin's bicycle, which was buried with her. They then call the police.
Christian then admits that the year before, when they all came to the lake house, including Sophie, he and Sophie were going for a drive and hit Malin. Not wanting to be arrested, they buried her in the forest. Sophie then committed suicide as she could not bear the guilt. Malin's ghost appears, and Christian runs away towards the road. Megan chases him through the forest, but before she can reach him, he gets to the road and is hit by the police car that had called out. The ending shows Megan at Malin's grave. When Leonard arrives home, he finds Malin's key chain on the porch, put there by Megan. Megan and Nick decide to go to the city together.
- Megan (Elisabeth Harnois), she travels with her friends to a remote lake house during the summer solstice. Once there, she begins to feel a presence she believes to be that of her deceased twin sister, who has recently committed suicide.
- Christian (Shawn Ashmore), Megan's love interest.
- Nick (Tyler Hoechlin), a resident of the town near the lake house. He works at a nearby gas station and provides the group with information on voodoo and other local superstitions.
- Zoe (Amanda Seyfried), Megan's best friend.
- Mark (Matt O'Leary), Alicia's boyfriend.
- Alicia (Hilarie Burton), Mark's girlfriend and a friend of Megan's.
- Leonard (R. Lee Ermey), a local resident whom the group finds suspicious.
- Malin (Jenna Hildebrand), a local girl who inexplicably went missing around a year earlier.
- Mrs. Thomas (Lisa Arnold)
- Mr. Thomas (David Dahlgren)
- Cop (Mark Krasnoff)
Myrick announced the imminent shooting of Solstice while working on The Strand in 2005. He said he hoped that it would "hark back to elemental horror films like Rosemary's Baby and The Shining." The film met with problems due to Hurricane Katrina and production was postponed. Filming commenced in New Orleans in April, 2006, shooting in the Garden District and in bayous around Louisiana. Endgame Entertainment developed, produced, and fully financed the film.
Throughout 2008, the film had worldwide releases in Germany, Philippines and Greece. It had a theatrical release on June 19 in Russia, and a US television debut on Lifetime Television on July 26, before release in South Korea, Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, Iceland and Mexico.
Solstice has received mixed reviews from its continued worldwide release. Don Sumner of Best Horror Movies felt the production values were comparable with large-budget films and that both the story and performances were believable and genuine, making the film interesting enough to keep the viewer's attention. However, he also felt that the expected scares and suspense might make for an argument that the film was not a horror and was actually a ghostly drama/thriller. Bloody Disgusting felt that the music score was the only highlight in an otherwise boring film, granting that as a remake of the Danish film Midsommer, where the story, overused locale, etc. could not be attributed to Myrick or the other new writers, it is wondered why the choice was made to not make it more interesting, as even the feeling of danger was not present. Dread Central also found the pacing to be lagging when they wrote "The pacing of Solstice drags the viewer to the finish line nearly half asleep". And in referring to director Daniel Myrick, "Coming from a guy whose body of work has been anything but cookie-cutter, Solstice disappoints with its surprising blandness and heavy-handed mediocrity." E-Splatter also offered disappointment at Myrick's work, offering that it was "a bit of a bummer to see the filmmaker behind such a kick-ass movie (The Blair Witch Project) helming a direct-to-video horror film that's as tame as this. As reviled as it was by some horror fans, "The Blair Witch Project" definitely had an edge. This film absolutely, positively has none."
The film was first released to DVD on January 1, 2008 in the US with a commentary track by the director.
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