If you put Jennifer’s Body, Red State, and The Babysitter in a blender, you’d get We Summon the Darkness. As a fan of all three, I really enjoyed Marc Meyers’ latest feature.
Meyers knows all the right horror tropes to click – seedy rest stops, girls wandering into corn fields alone, and ominous newspaper headlines. The first act plays like a classic 80s slasher, and his command of both his actors and camera is in line with everything you’d expect from the film’s poster and title. When the tone starts to shift to a lighter, more tongue in cheek tone, it’s done smoothly and never feels out of place. The balance of light and dark, of slapstick and outright scary is never lost and keeps what could be a runaway story on track.
Alexis, Val, and Bev make friends with three rock musicians at a gig and end up bringing them home, whilst satanic ritual murders are taking place all over the country. What could go wrong?
The plot tries to keep you guessing when it comes to who will be killed and who might be doing the killing. Seasoned horror fans will see through the tricks quite easily, but it’s still a fun watch, and when the blood starts to pour, that’s when things get really fun. The twists and turns are slightly predictable, but in the best, campy homage way. Apparently, you can’t plan the perfect ritual murder and step-moms really do ruin everything.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Alexandra Daddario gets top billing as Alexis, and does an excellent job playing the sadistic spoiled brat role, but Amy Forsyth as Bev stood out to me as the one to watch. Her performance is natural, endearing, and never over done. On the other hand, Maddie Hasson’s Val is having the most fun chewing the scenery. Someone needs to get her and Samara Weaving into a slasher comedy movie as sisters ASAP. The rest of the cast is well rounded, but the film definitely belongs to the girls, and rightly so.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
Your typical ominous tunes are ready and waiting for you, but so is Belinda Carlisle’s ‘Heaven Is A Place on Earth’ which instantly bumps it to a perfect soundtrack.
I instantly fell in love with the 80s metal rock outfits, and whilst they looked like they could easily be from now, not the 80’s, the look worked for me. There’s enough blood to keep horror fans hooked and excellent use of hairspray and lighters which lead to some pretty cool effects.
"We're More Than That... We're Sisters."
We Summon the Darkness isn’t particularly original, and you can see the twists coming for miles, but damn if it wasn’t a fun, silly watch with the perfect level of scare to have me jumping in the right places. A proper popcorn flick that will have you screaming “Don’t go up the stairs!”