WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS (2020)
Horror/comedy takes place in 1988 with three hot friends, Alexis (Alexandra Daddario from Bereavement), Val (Maddie Hasson) and Beverly (Amy Forsyth from Hell fest) traveling to a heavy metal concert at a time where there is a series of murders being committed, allegedly by a satanic cult. There they meet three guys, Ivan (Austin Swift), Kovacs (Logan Miller from Plus One) and Mark (Keean Johnson from Alita: Battle Angel) and the six bond. After the concert, they return to Alexis’ father’s remote house to party. As this is a horror film, one of these trios is not what they seem.
We Summon The Darkness is directed by Marc Meyers from a script by Alan Trezza. Sadly, it doesn’t have nearly as much fun with it’s premise, as it let’s the proverbial cat out of the bag less than halfway through. This sets up a stalemate situation with the survivors of one group trying to hold off the others. It’s not nearly as fun as if they had kept it a mystery as to which group were killers and which were victims, for a while longer. The middle of the film finds it’s momentum stopped dead as a siege situation is set-up, with two survivors locked inside a pantry. Of course a comedy of errors threatens to unravel the plans of the killers, leading to more bodies piling up. The tone is a bit uneven, as it can’t decide whether it wants to be a straight-up horror film, or is it supposed to be more of a comedy. The tone is fairly light at times, but it then switches to straight up horror, especially in the last act and there is a lot of blood spilled and graphic violence throughout. Again, the makers never seem to decide on a consistent tone and that keeps the audience at a bit of a distance. Plus, it’s not funny enough or scary/intense enough to be fully successful at either genre and it doesn’t mix them as deftly as it needs to. To describe the cast and characters in detail would be to give surprises away, so suffice to say the cast are all good and perform their parts well. Eventually things do pick-up, as a not surprising change of heart leads to evened odds and an all-out battle for survival in the final third. The climax is effective, if not predictable. Reminds one of last year’s Satanic Panic, another satanist themed horror/comedy that also had trouble settling on a consistent tone and didn’t take full advantage of it’s premise.
This isn’t a great movie and could have been a lot better. It’s not terrible, just doesn’t have as nearly as much fun with it’s premise as it could have. The middle of the flick stagnates, thought it does pick up for a bloody cat and mouse climax. It is also tonally challenged, as it can’t decide between comedy and straight-up horror or at least mixed them more successfully. Could have been a lot better, but could have been a lot worse. Basically a missed opportunity to have a lot of fun. Also stars Johnny Knoxville as a TV preacher, who turns out to be close to one of the six characters and Allison McAtee and Tanner Beard as an ex-stepmom and police officer, respectively, both in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Flick is available to stream on Amazon Prime.