Even though the last few I’ve watched were less than enjoyable, I still get excited for a new slasher flick to enter my grasp. I really needed a fun one to get the bad taste out of my mouth; Was Megan Freels Johnston’s The Ice Cream Truck the indie slasher to do it?
Mary moves back to her small hometown and has some time to kill before the rest of her family joins her. It doesn’t take long for her to run into trouble in multiple forms, proving that the suburbs are much scarier than she remembers.
I am very weary of low-budget horror films. I have always been trepidatious about heading into a new indie flick, but have been even more so with the last few duds that I’ve had to endure. Luckily, within the first few scenes of The Ice Cream Truck, I knew my days of agonizing slashers were numbered.
The Ice Cream Truck features a small cast of very talented actors, who were all new to me. It is more-than-refreshing to see some new faces in horror that are actually very good at what they do. Don’t get me wrong; more often than not, this is the case, but when it comes to the do-it-yourself horror films that I’ve grown accustomed to, it’s proving to be more and more difficult for up-and-coming directors and casting directors to find themselves competent performers.
Deanna Russo (TV’s “Being Human”) leads the way as the film’s protagonist, Mary. Russo does a fantastic job carrying the film along, especially in its more sluggish moments. Her portrayal of a mother, who hasn’t had this much time alone in over 12 years and has no idea what to do with herself, is quite effective.
One of the men acting opposite Russo’s Mary is John Redlinger as the smooth-talking, fit teen who lives down the street. Redlinger’s Max is trouble in every sense of the word, but Mary just can’t help herself when it comes to her attractive new neighbor.
More important than the trouble that Max becomes for Mary is, of course, the mysterious ice cream man that somehow manages to pop up seemingly out of nowhere on more than one occasion.
A great horror villain, the ice cream man is portrayed by Scandinavian actor Emil Johnsen. Johnsen’s approach to this role is quite remarkable as he never loses his calm demeanor, even as he tallies up the kills of his unsuspecting victims.
The blood stains that this man accrues throughout the film’s 87 minutes is even more jarring when splattered across his impeccably clean, stark white outfit.
While most independent slasher flicks rely too heavily on blood and gore to carry themselves through, The Ice Cream Truck offers so much more.
Sure, there are the kills you’d expect in a film of this nature, but writer/director Megan Freels Johnston is intelligent enough to know that the horror genre, when done right, is more than just how much blood you can shove down your audience’s throat.
I personally would have pressed down on the gas a little more firmly, but the slower pacing of this film does make for an even sweeter payoff in the end.
The Ice Cream Truck is a great entry in the slasher genre and more people need to see it. It features a very talented cast, a quiet but memorable antagonist, and an eerie score that uses the ordinarily inviting tunes of an ice cream truck in some nerve-racking ways.
The Ice Cream Truck is available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Uncork’d Entertainment and can also be streamed right now through Amazon Prime. I can’t recommend this one enough and urge all of you to go out and pick up your own copy today.
I give this one 4 decadent milkshakes out of 5.