SUMMON THE DARK LAUGHS
Artisan/Lionsgate and Saban Films has a great deal of dark fun in store with We Summon the Darkness. An ’80s era flashy trashy comedy thriller that has quite a few surprises. Three goth girls hit the road to see a heavy metal band amidst tales of a series of ritualistic murders. This sounds like the simple set up for a slasher film, but director Marc Meyers (My Friend Dahmer) and writer Alan Trezza (Burying the Ex) have a great deal more in store for us hitting upon the religious right, faux satanists and fans of heavy metal.
Alexis, Val and Beverly, three young wayward souls, are on the road having fun with not a care in the world, trekking through Indiana in 1988 to see a raucous heavy metal band. Alexis is the leader, strong-minded and a bit snooty. Val, the wild child with the weak bladder and bad hygiene. Beverly is the new girl to the group. She’s kind of like the wallflower of the three. Nowhere near as boisterous and not keen on getting drunk, high or even getting laid.
The three appear to be ripe as victims in this kind of film. When they meet some young heavy metal dudes and decide to party with them, we almost guess the outcome. Almost. The first 31 minutes of We Summon the Darkness is throwback fun until the big reveal that turns this kind of film on its ear. Now, one may wonder can it sustain? To a point, largely due to the three young women Alexandra Daddario (Baywatch (2017), Texas Chainsaw 3D), Maddie Hasson (TV’s Twisted, Impulse) and Amy Forsyth (TV’s Rise, Channel Zero). All three have a great chemistry, but it’s Forsyth who proves to be most memorable in every scene.
It should also be mentioned that Johnny Knoxville makes an appearance as a televangelist, and there is not an ounce of humor in his portrayal. That’s not a bad thing. He emotes righteous indignation with a dangerous demeanor. Not over-the-top fanatical, but his presence comes with a warning when on screen. A big plus for this film.
There is a good amount of violence that could turn some off. At the same time, there’s the nostalgia and the dark humor of it all that makes the ride well worth it. We Summon the Darkness supplies thrills, chills and nervous laughs that are not for the easily offended or for those who demand too much from a horror film. A good mix to take your mind off these COVID times.
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Directed by: Marc Meyers
Release Date: April 20, 2020
Run Time: 91
Distributor: Saban Films