If I had supernatural powers as a child, this world (as we know it) wouldn’t exist. All kids can be quite moody, and I was no exception. The anger that they exude can be frightening. I’ve seen the looks my sons give me and I wonder how many times I gave my mother that same snarled look when she stood between me and my wants. I guarantee I would rule this world like Anthony Fremont did in that old Twilight Zone episode just because I could. Kids lack empathy and that episode explored a popular theme to many horror stories today quite well.
Well, to kick off the Halloween season, I was lucky enough to snag a preview of the upcoming horror film June starring Casper Van Dien, Victoria Pratt, and Addy Miller. While its story is a little more complicated than Twilight Zone‘s, it’s effectively the same (and I guess you can roll The Omen and Carrie into this statement as well): A troubled child releases hell on earth. When all is said and done, June is an enjoyable watch. We can relate to a child without empathy to his/her abusers over a silent serial killer all day long. We understand where she comes from and why she acts like she does. We feel the conflict. Yes…it’s erratic and can be obnoxious. But that’s kids and it’s unimaginably hard to know how a child would act if they had unlimited power.
Young June (Kennedy Brice) has some sort of supernatural being attached to her. It may be a god. It may be a devil. Either way, it allows her to manipulate the world as she wishes. The problem is that June does show much empathy towards others. She is dealt a crappy hand in life as an orphan that is placed with a family more interested in the state’s money than the burden of the state that is June. She holds back and that makes her look weak and timid to her aggressors. After a blowout with her last foster family, she is adopted by Dave and Lily Anderson (Casper Van Dien and Victoria Pratt). While nicer to June than most have been, June takes a disliking to Dave.
June’s passive aggressive attempts to rid the house of Dave are never quite explained. He’s been nothing but nice to her but she views him as an evil stepfather. It starts as a general cold nature that intensifies when she overhears him talking about how she might need help and snowballs from there. What makes matters worse is that Lily sides with June. While explained as the film goes on, it leads to the same predictable story arc that we always get in these movies.
While June is an decent watch, it’s this predictability that keeps it from being something great. I’m not sure if they are nods to movies like Carrie, The Omen, or even The Orphan, but it sure just feels like I’ve seen this somewhere else. The acting is good. The story is ok. It just never comes together as its own story. It’s worth checking out for casual horror fans or for date nights this month.
June hits DVD on October 6, 2015.