Anthology films are very hit or miss, but more often than not they are miss. The same can be said for the film Summer School (2006) which suffers from being an anthology with a unique premise that is destroyed by subpar acting and production values and weak and uninspired direction (from all the directors).
It’s the first day of summer school and Charles (Simon Wallace) just wants to get through the day without any problems because he just spent last night watching a lot of B-level horror films. Today will be anything but normal as Charles soon discovers that he is living a nightmare within a nightmare of different style horror films. The only way of escape is when he dies at the end of the nightmare and wakes up but what is a nightmare and what is the real world?
The film has a great concept behind it as the short films contained within are from different genres from a vampire film to a mutant infestation film to a hillbilly “Wrong Turn” like film to more. This is an excellent idea for a horror film but the overall film is hampered by a weak lead in with Wallace who cannot carry the film and seems out of place in many of the shorts (his performance is very inconsistent). His co-stars all seem to be having more fun as each short has the same actors portraying different characters from one story to the next.
Most of the direction is pedestrian and lacks imagination and causes the film to drag especially when you’re stuck in scenes with just Wallace. The low budget (or no budget as it looks) aesthetics of the film hamper it at every turn leaving nothing in the film to actually enjoy. This is a shame since the film’s concept is its driving force and allure. This is one of those independent films that could do with a remake that had a budget to do the story justice.