Movie Review: THE ICE CREAM TRUCK

With summer in full swing, I'm always on the lookout for new horror films to watch that fit the current season. THE ICE CREAM TRUCK was a movie I had heard about last year, and was definitely looking forward to its release and seeing what it had to offer. This new psychological horror/comedy has a lot to show its audience, and will satisfy any new summer cravings you may be having. 

During the midst of a move, Mary (Deanna Russo), a freelance writer, relocates back to her hometown in hopes of raising her children in a peaceful suburban environment. While waiting for her husband and two kids to arrive, Mary attempts to stay busy throughout the week and notices the not-so-cheery side to suburban life, and the strange people residing in the neighborhood. 

Written and directed by Megan Freels Johnston, the film presents comedy mixed with horror, encompassed around a lone but eerie ice cream truck that persistently circles the neighborhood during all hours. The truck's vintage yet bland decor works great alongside the character's nosy suburban personalities, giving you that claustrophobic sense of being in a tiny development. I felt each character was cast very well, even showcasing some great appearances by Jeff Daniel Phillips (The Lords of Salem, 31) who plays an incredibly shady and mysterious furniture mover, and Lisa Ann Walter who I recognize from War of the Worlds, The Parent Trap, and even an episode of "Glow". 

I had several ideas regarding the plot of THE ICE CREAM TRUCK, and ended up being pleasantly surprised with the course it took. The film's flow has a slow, but steady build, leading you in a rather unpredictable direction. It is never specified what type of freelance writer Mary really is, but it appears more relevant during the plot's finale. But, as an audience member we still remain unsure about the unveiled events, and which parts were fact and which were fiction. While many theories can be concocted, I feel the plot is purposefully open for interpretation, leaving you to decide what actually did (or didn't) happen. 

If you're looking for a summer horror flick providing some unexpected mystery wrapped in a box containing comedy, good camera work, and some fun death scenes, then THE ICE CREAM TRUCK will be an enjoyable watch all around. The ride was fun and unexpected, with great use of plot ambiguity that parallels some rather creepy and disorienting commercialized ice cream truck music that we are undoubtedly all familiar with.

Abigail Braman

THE ICE CREAM TRUCK will be in select theaters and VOD August 18