Review by Sean Boelman
Written by Alan Trezza (Burying the Ex) and directed by Marc Meyers (My Friend Dahmer), We Summon the Darkness is a fun new horror movie with a satirical edge. Taking a refreshing spin on common genre tropes, Trezza and Meyers’s film is an entertaining B-movie made with genre fans in mind.
The film follows three female best friends who meet up with three aspiring musicians at a metal show and go to a country home to party, but their night of fun does not go according to plan. The first twenty or so minutes kick the movie off with a pretty conventional start, but when the film reveals what it is actually going to be, it’s actually a lot more enjoyable than it deserves to be.
If there is something wrong with the movie, it is that it is way too fast-paced for its own good. Clocking in at a few over an hour and twenty minutes, the film is quick and to-the-point. However, when the movie starts throwing in the twists, the audience isn’t given enough time to feel the full impact of these revelations, and the film feels rushed as a result.
Another consequence of the movie’s brief runtime is that it isn’t able to explore its themes with as much depth as one would like. Yes, it’s still plenty entertaining, and one will never get bored until the credits roll, but Trezza obviously has something interesting to say about religion with this story, and that never really comes through.
One of the most impressive things about this film is that it does a very good job (for the most part) of busting archetypes. The characters fall into a lot of traditional horror movie roles in the first act, and many of them are reversed heading into the rest of the movie. While there are still some more modern cliches utilized throughout, the film is mostly creative nonetheless.
The actors all do a decent job in their roles, especially because the movie calls for over-the-top performances all-around. Alexandra Daddario, who is not exactly known for high-quality acting, is a ton of fun to watch as the lead. She chews the scenery and fits right in. The supporting cast is also strong, led by Johnny Knoxville, Keean Johnson, and Logan Miller.
On a technical level, Meyers does a very good job of bringing the film’s retro feel to life. The cinematography and production design are immersive and effective, and even though it is obvious that the filmmakers didn’t have a massive budget at their disposal, the movie benefits from having a lot of atmosphere.
We Summon the Darkness may not reach the levels that it could, but it’s a ton of fun to watch regardless. It’s a B-movie horror flick that doesn’t take itself too seriously, so it’s best enjoyed as mindless entertainment.
We Summon the Darkness hits VOD on April 10.