Daniel Middleton (Timothée Chalamet), a likable but socially awkward recent high-school graduate, is spending the summer before college visiting his aunt on Cape Cod. Neither a “townie” nor a wealthy “summer bird” dropping in for the season, Daniel struggles to find his place—until he meets Hunter Strawberry (Alex Roe), the local bad-boy who peddles marijuana to well-off vacationers when he isn’t protecting his younger sister McKayla (Maika Monroe) from overzealous male suitors. Sensing an opportunity, Daniel persuades Hunter to go into business, dealing weed up and down the Cape together as the summer heat intensifies. Newly confident, Daniel falls for McKayla, keeping their relationship secret until it becomes explosive.
Set in the summer of 1991 against the backdrop of a looming hurricane, Hot Summer Nights is the confident and assured debut feature from writer-director Elijah Bynum. Featuring a wry and charming performance by Chalamet, a stellar turn by Monroe (It Follows), and a breakout performance by Roe, Hot Summer Nights is a torrid thriller about small-town misdeeds that erupt in passion and violence.