Monday, October 5, 2015
L. Gustavo Cooper's June
Cody watches a mystery unfold in a supernatural thriller that hits DVD and VOD on October 6th.
June will have certain viewers on the edge of their seat as soon as its opening scene, because it appears to be putting an infant in danger. Chanting, robed figures surround the crying child. Mystical energy starts flowing into it. When the ceremony goes wrong - or right, given the fact that the baby survives and the cultists seem to be wiped out - the child is taken away from the scene and put into foster care.
That child is the eponymous June. The next time we see her, she's around ten years old and being played by Kennedy Brice. Whatever happened at the ceremony has had a lasting effect on the withdrawn little girl; when she gets upset, bad things happen. Things not entirely unlike things that happened around Stephen King's Carrie, but even darker. This is because there is another soul residing within June, the soul of someone/something called Aer.
When mysterious child services worker Victor Emmanuel (Eddie Jemison) meets her, June is living in a very trashy situation. He moves her to a new foster home, putting her into the care of the Andersons, Dave (Casper Van Dien) and Lily (Victoria Pratt).
It's a much better living situation for June with Dave and Lily, who appear to be nice, caring people who are ready to be dedicated parents. Unfortunately, there are still some serious problems. It's not easy raising a girl who's possessed.
As intriguing as June sounded, I have to admit, I had some reservations about it as well. The presence of Casper Van Dien in a cast is often a warning sign for me. No offense to the man himself, it's about his choices. Most of the movies I have seen him in haven't been very good. However, there are always exceptions, and my lowered expectations allowed June to surprise me. It is actually a very solid supernatural horror film.
There are some missteps along the way, like a narration that I feel the film would have been more effective without, but for the most part it is a well crafted film that looks great and is driven forward by an impressive score composed by Sean and Juliette Beavan.
Although you'll catch elements from other stories here and there, the screenplay by Sharon Y. Cobb and director L. Gustavo Cooper assembles these pieces together in an interesting way and contained enough mystery (that narration is a spoiler, though) to hold my attention for the duration.
June isn't the next great classic, but if you're in the mood for a dark tale with some supernatural thrills, it makes for a fine October evening viewing.