We Summon the Darkness: Film Review

We Summon the Darkness

When I think of Alexandria Daddario, I have this image of this super attractive yet friendly and down-to-earth girl, thanks to the supporting characters I’ve seen her play on film, so it was surprising yet refreshing to see her turn that image upside down and show audiences a completely different side of her in We Summon the Darkness.

The horror-thriller is set in Indiana in July 1988, when there has been a spate of satanic ritualistic killings occurring throughout the country, causing a panic, with televangelist and pastor John Henry Butler (Johnny Knoxville) calling rock and heavy metal music the work of the devil. The action picks up with Alexis (Daddario), Valerie (Maddie Hasson) and Beverly (Amy Forsyth), who are on a road trip to a heavy metal concert, where they befriend Ivan (Austin Swift), Mark (Keean Johnson) and Kovacs (Logan Miller) and invite them back to one of their country homes for an afterparty – a party which none of them will ever forget.

I don’t like to reveal spoilers in my reviews and I won’t do so here but it’s really hard to discuss We Summon the Darkness in a spoiler-free way because a twist happens so early on. I will say that this horror was not as straightforward as I expected. There was more to it and I was immediately more interested once it veered into unexpected territory and we started to learn who these characters really were and what their motivations were. Although the concept is cool, once all the cards are out on the table, the film loses its edge, the plot loses momentum, and it becomes quite flimsy and more amusing than scary, and I’m not sure if that was the intention.

It was fun to see Daddario playing against type, even if she did overdo her performance in the latter half, and I thought Hasson (who I’ve never seen before) was very edgy and cool. They both looked awesome too, with their ’80s metal outfits and hair. As a huge Taylor Swift fan, I was shocked to discover via the end credits that her brother Austin was in this – he looks completely unrecognisable!

The script is extremely thin. At first, I wondered why weren’t getting any background about the characters or an idea of who they were, but the answer for that became apparent at the twist. However, once everything is revealed, the characters are all one-note and don’t get any depth and there is no substantial, satisfactory explanation for the events that take place. I would have liked more character work so it wouldn’t have been quite so light. Also, this might disappoint horror fans as it isn’t particularly scary, although it’s quite bloody. However, at a slick 90 minutes, We Summon the Darkness is an easy, entertaining watch.

Available on Digital HD Monday 20th April & DVD 11th May

Rating: 3/5

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