Directing duo Lankyboy present Summerland, a film about three friends, Bray (Chris Ball), Oliver (Rory J. Super) and Oliver’s girlfriend, Stacey (Maddie Phillips) who embark on an adventurous road trip to music festival Summerland. Travelling in a stolen RV and with a briefcase full of drugs, all so that Bray can meet up with Shawn (Dylan Playfair), a boy he met online through a dating site. Unbeknownst to Stacey, however, is the fact that Bray has been pretending to be a girl named Victoria, all while using Stacey’s pictures in his profile. 

In a film like this, that relies solely on the believability of the relationships and the audience feeling compelled by the conflict and the stakes involved, the biggest issue with Summerland is the unfortunate lack of chemistry between the three main protagonists. None of the characters are particularly likeable, and their interactions with one another come across as forced, with any semblance of camaraderie nonexistent, leading the scenes with emotional depth to fail in hitting their marks. 

In the end, there is no great crescendo. There is no happy ending, nor a sad ending, it simply ends. This film stops so abruptly, as if in the middle of a sentence, without any real satisfying resolution. This may be extremely frustrating, but it could also be interpreted to signify that their lives will carry on despite their setbacks. Perhaps the ending of Summerland shouldn’t be seen as disappointing, but rather a realistic portrayal of how life actually is: mostly a series of unremarkable events strung together.

The set up in Summerland is exciting and full of such promise, much like the promise of a road trip across the country with your best friends. But just like the rest of this film, that optimism of experiencing something that was meant to be special dissipates very quickly.



CAST: Maddie Phillips, Dylan Playfair, Rory J. Saper 

DIRECTORS: Lankyboy (Kurtis David Harder, Noah Kentis)

WRITERS: Chris Ball, Dylan Griffiths, Kurtis David Harder, Noah Kentis

SYNOPSIS: Bray, Oliver, and Stacey, are three friends determined to make it to the Summerland music festival, no matter what it takes.