The Long Dark Trail Trailer Subverts Coming-Of-Age Summer Films

Coming-of-age horror films are few and far between. Sure, we have Stranger Things, but that’s ending, and the last outstanding ones I can think of are 2018’s Summer of 84, 2017’s Tigers are Not Afraid, 2014’s Among the Living (all currently streaming on Shudder), and the 2017-18 reboot of IT. When stories about kids facing horrifying situations are told, they provide untenable fear. Following The Long Dark Trail trailer, you’ll find an abusive father, a mom who’s joined a cult, and a brother shifting into something demonic. It’s surely enough for Dorothy to cry, “Oh my,” but I’m utterly fascinated and dying to know more. 

Two boys sit beside each other on an infinite amount of skulls at a lake scene in the poster for The Long Dark Trail
Image courtesy of Black Mandela Films

The Long Dark Trail trailer begins in the deep woods of Northwest Pennsylvania. A summer scene like any other, with tipped over bicycles and kids on rope swings diving into rivers, gives way to brief shots of the town those kids inherently come from, showing little traffic and a main street that’s in desperate need of repair. The voiceover tells us these two kids were abandoned by their mother and left to suffer at the hands of their monstrous father. In a bleak place with little opportunity, two brothers have decided to find their mother, who is supposedly part of a Midsommar-esque woodsy religion. What starts as a Stand By Me journey into the forest becomes increasingly more like a possession film by way of The Blair Witch Project. The face of one of the boys, Henry, alters into scarred depictions with soulless eyes and multiplies into a foreboding army by the end.  

Undeniably foreboding and atmospheric, The Long Dark Trail trailer gives the impression of a B-grade summer shocker. Directors Kevin Ignatius and Nick Psinakis have created a nightmarish angle on those movie-like summers that define us, displaying a surreal notion that these boys may have escaped one fate but are doomed to suffer by never leaving the woods at all. If they make it out, it will certainly be a summer they will never forget.

The Long Dark Trail is currently traveling the festival circuit, and we’ll hopefully see it released a little later this year. 

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Written by Sean Parker

Living just outside of Boston, Sean has always been facinated by what horror can tell us about contemporary society. He started writing music reviews for a local newspaper in his twenties and found a love for the art of thematic and symbolic analysis. Sean joined Horror Obsessive at it's inception, and is currently the site's Creative Director. He produces and edits the weekly Horror Obsessive podcast for the site as well as his interviews with guests. He has recently started his foray into feature film production as well, his credits include Alice Maio Mackay's Bad Girl Boogey, Michelle Iannantuono's Livescreamers, and Ricky Glore's upcoming Troma picture, Sweet Meats.

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