Editor's Note: Dark Summer is now available on VOD and in select theaters, thanks to IFC Midnight, and Alyse was invited to speak with director Paul Solet about his latest film. Not only does he talk about Dark Summer's story, finding Keir Gilchrist, and selecting music for the movie, but he also give readers a tease of his Tales of Halloween segment that we'll have a chance to check out later this year:

Mike Le wrote the script, but did you make adjustments to the story to fit what we see on screen?

Paul Solet: Mike's structure was the movie that the producers were excited about making, so that stood. The principal twists and turns stand, but there were changes to the scene structure and execution. From scene to scene, within the scene, there were dialogue and structure changes.

Can you talk about finding your leading man in Keir Gilchrist?

Paul Solet: I saw everyone in Hollywood at that age and I was a fan of Keir [Gilchrist]. We met and just really hit it off. He reminds me of myself when I was younger, and he's highly evolved as a person and an actor. He's like in his 20's going on 45 [laughs]. He's a very not-Hollywood person. He has a very sophisticated way of looking at the world and his craft. We also both like hardcore music too, so we really hit it off.

It was just so obvious to me. You just know and my experience working with him absolutely validated that. He's a real star and it's a thrill to see anything he does. He's someone I intend to work with again and again.

I love the fact that Elysian Fields play so prominently. I didn't realize that anyone else had heard of them before [laughs]. How did you come about using their music in the film?

Paul Solet: We had a great music supervisor and he presented me with a lot of options. We talked at length and we met early on, trying to identify what the vision for the music was. It was really critical and plays in the plot. It was like with Keir, when I heard Elysian Fields it was so great and I continue to listen to them. It's some of the most beautiful music and totally appropriate for the movie.

It seemed that certain portions of the movie were in Daniel's head. Was I reading too much into it or was it supposed  to be a mindfuck in that sense?

Paul Solet: That's the question we want the audience to be asking. That's the discussion I'd like to hear in the lobby outside of the theater. How much is in his head, how much wasn't, and why?

What can you tell me about your segment in Tales of Halloween?

Paul Solet:  It's been a blast working on it. I did sort of a Western-themed segment. Not literally Western-themed, but more of an ode to Sergio Leone by way of The Warriors. It was a geek fantasy opportunity for me to do that.

So many of the people working on the movie are people who are friends or who I admire a great deal. It's been a lot of fun to work with them. Neil is a great friend and collaborator. I've been a huge fan of Lucky McKee since May and I just got to meet him the other day. That kind of stuff is so awesome and we're all just fans. Getting to hang out, talk shop, and help each other is just so cool. It's just so cool to have a community thing like that.


"From Paul Solet, director of the acclaimed hit Grace, comes DARK SUMMER, a suspense thriller combining the supernatural terror of classic horrors THE SHINING and POLTERGEIST, with the tension and modern cool of DISTURBIA. Summer is a time to relax, unwind, take a vacation, and be free. But 17 year old Daniel Austin gets none of that because his obsessive online stalking of his classmate and crush, Mona Wilson, got him put on house arrest for the whole summer. So, no cell phone, no Internet, no leaving the property, and especially no Mona. Then Daniel’s single mother has to go on a long business trip, and Daniel has the place to himself.

Daniel figures out a way to piggyback onto his neighbors’ wireless signal and believing he’s surfing off the grid, uses his time to check in on his friends – and Mona... But what Daniel didn’t expect is for Mona to check up on him. And what she does next shakes him to his very core. And then things start to happen. Daniel receives mysterious packages in the mail, hears phantom noises, sees inanimate objects move, and feels a strange presence in the house..."