Between all the artsy arthouse stuff and world-building blockbusters, most importantly because it’s starting to be the award season prestige coming through, it can be fun to sit back to relax while enjoying some B-movie shenanigans. Marc Meyers directed and Alan Trezza written We Summon The Darkness fits those parameters, being a thriller which finds us with three young women travelling to a metal concert in the 1980s where they eventually meet three guys who they invite with them to one’s mansion home to spend the evening. This is when the ”satanic panic” was at its peak so there seem to be satanic, ritualistic murders happening so obviously it finds its way to effects these six youths during the night. ”Darkness” has its fun with B-movie tropes but never unveils any sort of hook to make it stand out.
Filmmakers are very fortunate with the main cast; Alexandra Daddario (Alexis), Maddie Hasson (Val), Amy Forsyth (Beverly), Logan Miller (Kovacs), Austin Swift (Ivan) and Keean Johnson (Mark) who manage to play to the genre strengths to the best of their abilities. Everyone at the very least get their roles while Hasson and Forsyth actually have fun with them in the best way possible. In these types of movies where the hair is long, alcohol lingers in the air and metal soundtrack blasts through the speakers, you don’t have to be perfect if you’re entertaining. And two of them indeed are. Other than that the gore is rather suitable, cinematography is clean enough and the concert/parking lot scenes are well crafted.
Where the death growls fall flat however are Trezza’s script and Meyers’ handling of it. The girls’ drive to the concert makes the least bit of sense after the ”plot twist” or one’s resemblance because the writing completely gets rid of the surprise or effect of it. Once we finally get to the so-called-plot-twist, it takes another 30 minutes for the action to kick in. Once the action kicks in you realise how mediocre the execution is. Where are the satanic elements? Where are the religious elements? Or even any kind of ridiculousness? It just becomes as thrilling as a game of hide and seek. During these parts we get introduced to a stepmom who should’ve been written out because she leads to a cop arriving who becomes the least effective part of the film. You’ve established the players, there is no need for boring stepmoms or cops. One missed opportunity is Johnny Knoxville’s character who should’ve made an entrance earlier, he had the perfect B-movie villain sleaziness and basically kickstarts the main story, instead he is in and out way too quickly. Too bad.
Smileys: Maddie Hasson, Amy Forsyth
Frowneys: Atmosphere, tone, screenplay
They didn’t even summon anything and it was rather light throughout.