Film Review: Last Summer

Undoubtedly one of the most iconic and memorable coming-of-age films of the past few decades is Stand by Me. The concept of a gang of kids getting into scrapes and growing together is one which has consistently appeared in literature, on TV and in films. Whether that’s adventure comedy like The Goonies, horror such as IT or the science fiction of Stranger Things. In Jon Jones’ new film, Last Summer, events take a rather dark turn for four young friends.

Faced with the prospect of a long hot summer ahead, Davy (Noa Thomas), Iwan (Gruffydd Weston), Rhys (Rowan Jones) and Robbie (Christopher Benning) are looking forward to spending it exploring and adventuring in rural Wales. However, their childhood comes to a suddenly halt when one moment changes all their lives forever. Faced with the prospect of separation, they must fight to hold their friendships together.

Last Summer is a real surprise. What starts out as a seemingly ordinary teen drama soon takes a deadly and dark turn. Shot in a way which really conjures up the ‘70s, it feels authentic; adopting the hues and tones of the Welsh countryside. Jones get the most out of his young cast whilst also relying on some familiar older faces. The script and lean and on point whilst never becoming mired in melodrama. Last Summer is an impressive directorial debut and one which announces the presence of a talented new voice.

Last Summer is out in cinemas from 7 June.

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