Marc Meyer’s, We Summon the Darkness is a slick satanic bloodbath and the recent horror movie that has quite possibly rejuvenated the genre, proving that breaking away from obvious tropes and taking narrative risks ensures that this pitch-black comedy slasher stands out from the rest.
Set in 1988 amidst mass hysteria linked to a ‘satanic panic’ crisis, three carefree heavy-metal loving friends, Alexis (Alexandra Daddario), Val (Maddie Hasson) and Bev (Amy Forsyth) embark on a hellraising road trip to a rock concert. Shortly after arriving, they encounter three young aspiring musicians, Mark (Keean Johnson), Kovacs (Logan Miller) and Ivan (Austin Swift) and there’s an instant spark between the group. Following the show, they head out to an afterparty at Alexis’s father’s vacation home where events take a twisted turn. The raucous night they had planned takes an unexpected trajectory where members of the group begin to realise that it wasn’t a wise idea to party, devil-worshipping style when there are killers on the prowl!
We Summon the Darkness deserves to remain unspoiled so that its narrative twists can make a surprising impact. What begins as a road movie with an intricate build up that plants the seeds of doubt in the viewers mind of what could happen transcends into a movie that doesn’t hold back in the storytelling choices it makes and is utterly rewarding for it. While the film delivers a strong message on the influential power of cults, it also allows itself to wear its heart on its sleeve providing an equal amount of laughs as well as suspense and scares, culminating in a well-rounded, satisfying piece of horror.
In the three core female characters, the film evokes a sense of spirited, care-free youth as it seems the trio play by their own rules. They go against type when it comes to generic female horror characters that carelessly land themselves in peril, these girls undoubtably keep their guard up demonstrating their independence. Each of them have their own characteristics,
Alexis comes across as the leader with a sense of fun while remaining level-headed, Val is the loose cannon, crying out for any debauchery that’s swept her way and Bev, the new girl in the gang is much more reserved and wary of her surroundings as the other two enact peer pressure onto her.
Each member of the core cast is exceptional in their roles, allowing us to become immersed in their story arcs. Its one of those plots where no one can be trusted so it’s a fun ride in wondering who will take the upper hand. The film frequently pulls the rug from underneath its audience and then some, keeping the action continually exciting. Johnny Knoxville of Jackass fame also stars, he does a brilliant job but not knowing the mystery surrounding his character is best left as a welcome surprise.
The film is a celebration of 80’s culture and embraces it in the striking fashion choices and killer soundtrack allowing for an endearing nostalgic quality as it embodies the vibe of the popular horror movies from the era.
There is a healthy supply of gore on offer that refrains from going overboard into blood-drenched splatter. The gore is secondary to the intensity of the situation and it achieves the right balance when it comes down to getting visually brutal. In fact, the gore elements feel more realistic to the scenario at hand rather than taking an over the top, cartoonish route.
With complex, well-rounded male and female characters, a killer plot, and an explosion of 80’s nostalgia, We Summon the Darkness is an epically cool, subversive horror movie that knows how to please its audience. Please keep spoilers at a minimum before experiencing this incredibly fun ride of hair-raising heavy metal, murder and mayhem which is guaranteed to put a smile on every horror fan’s face once the credits roll. We Summon the Darkness is a hellish breath of fresh air that shouldn’t be missed!
Signature Entertainment & FrightFest Presents presents We Summon The Darkness on Digital HD April 20th and DVD 11th May.