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Film / Summer School (2006)

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Summer School is a 2006 Horror Anthology Film about a rather unorthodox day of summer school.

Charles, a high-school student who moonlights online as a amateur horror movie reviewer arrives for his first day of summer school and quickly falls asleep, being woken later by his friends in the midst of class. However, as he keeps falling asleep in class his dreams are soon haunted by the very horror movie cliches he reviews as a hobby and the lines between reality and fiction start to blur. The movie is divided into several segments.

Cult: Charles discovers that his crush and his teacher are more than they seem...

Monsters: Charles awakes to find the school mostly abandoned but is bitten by something lurking in a locker.

Nazi: Charles' teacher and the hall officer reveal themselves to be Nazi collaborators, gunning down students in a shockingly dark segment.

Vampire: Charles wakes up to a world where all his classmates are Vampires.


Hillbilly: The odd one out of the anthology, as it has nothing to do with the school or Charles' classmates. Instead focusing on Charles wandering into the home of a group of mountain Hillbillies, one of which has depraved plans for him.

Slasher: Charles wakes from yet another of his traumatic dreams, and the stress of it all coupled with the fact that it keeps on being All Just a Dream cause him to suffer extreme Sanity Slippage.

Not to be mistaken for the 80s comedy film of the same name.


Some tropes associated with the film include:

  • All Just a Dream: Each time Charles dies, he wakes up to find out that the segment he was in previously was a dream. The ending reveals the whole movie was just a dream.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The movie switches tones wildly from short to short. Cult is a creepy slow build followed immediately by Monsters, which has the air of a B-Movie complete with the "Monsters" being Bigfoot costumes modified with spider-like heads. This in turn is followed by Nazi, the darkest segment of the movie which also has a number of disturbing similarities to a school shooting, followed by the supremely goofy Vampire and the back-to-back Narm of Hillbilly and Slasher. Then the movie ends with Charles dying in a car accident.
  • Character Tics: Charles pops a mint into his mouth every time his crush Lindsay approaches him or he approaches her.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Everything up to that point was all just a series of dreams layered into each other, including the first time Charles was roused from a dream. He leaves the school and is suddenly struck and killed by a car, with his spilled papers revealing that he'd come in for summer school one day early.
  • Eye Scream: Charles' eye gets gouged out with a knife in Nazi before his killer shoves his pistol into the hole to deliver the finishing blow.
  • Flat Character: Everyone but Charles, and even then just barely for him. Justified in that Charles is dreaming the whole time.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: The viewer is lead to believe that Charles really did snap in Slasher and that his insistence that it'll be fine when he wakes up as he bleeds out is proof that he went insane because of his repeated nightmares, even hanging on the Fade to Black just long enough to make it seem like he really is dead. Then he wakes up.
  • Foreshadowing: A surprisingly competent case for the movie's very indie B-Movie pedigree. It's established that every time he dies, Charles wakes up in another dream. Cult starts immediately after he's "woken up" for the first time, hinting at the fact that the whole movie is All Just a Dream.
  • Jerkass: Charles proves multiple times that he's a rather rude and unpleasant person, being dismissive of his classmates, rude to his teacher and the officer stationed at the school and antisocial in general.
  • Large Ham: Steve, Dennis and Lindsay in Vampire. Steve is more of the Cold Ham variety, Lindsay is over the top in acting the seductress and Dennis?
    Dennis: (raising his arms into the air) I AM NOSFERATU!
  • N-Word Privileges: One of the more derided aspects of the movie are the Hillbillies repeatedly violating theirs for no real reason as there's not a single black person in the whole film.
  • Not What It Looks Like: During Hillbilly. Charles escapes the Hillbillies and makes his way to a road trying to find help, but he's shirtless and charging at the road with a shotgun. Understandably, the driver of the car he finds isn't too keen to let him in, especially since in his panic he keeps shouting at him to open the door, making it seem like he's trying to steal the car.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Charles' panic during Hillbilly causes him to look like a carjacker or a mugger to the man driving the car he's trying to get into to escape. This argument leads to the man being shot in the head when one of the Hillbillies catches up to Charles.
  • Surprise Creepy: Just about all the sequences start like this, but Cult has a slow build and actually seems like a, admittedly well shot, slow paced student film until Charles hangs a corner, gets hit with a pan and wakes up to Lindsay and Dennis ritualistically bleeding his wrists before Mrs. Wickham arrives to sacrifice him.
  • Victory Fake Out: After Hillbilly, Charles wakes up seemingly safe only for one of the Hillbillies to appear in the window and shoot him dead, sending him into the real next dream.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Played for Horror, Charles is only shirtless in Hillbilly because one of the Hillbillies made him strip it off at gunpoint before trying to molest him.
  • Zombie Infectee: Charles gets bitten during Monsters and spends the sequence slowly mutating into one of them.