A film should never be overly reliant upon a twist. When done right, sudden turns in a plot can spice things up, as we’ve seen countless times in cinema. However, the wrong handling of a twist can really mess up a work. Luckily, despite leaning too heavily upon a twist almost everyone will see coming, We Summon the Darkness manages to be a lot of fun. As much as the movie follows the rules of the horror/thriller genre, it does so with a sense of humor that helps set it apart. While not a comedy, the flick knows how to have a good time, and that goes a long way. Plus, any showcase for the talented Alexandra Daddario is an added bonus. It hits VOD this weekend and is well worth a look.
The movie is a tongue in cheek horror/thriller hybrid, starting out as one thing, before taking a second act turn. At the outset, we’re introduced to Alexis (Daddario), Val (Maddie Hasson), and Beverly (Amy Forsyth), a trio of friends on a road trip to a heavy metal concert. They have an easy going and humorous rapport with each other, suggesting a strong bond. As they travel to the show, they hear reports of a series of satanic themed murders, but mostly they’re concerned with the band they’re about to see. In the parking lot outside of the venue, they meet Mark (Keean Johnson), Kovics (Logan Miller), and Ivan (Austin Swift), sharing drinks, before enjoying the concert together. The guys are way into the girls, so almost out of pity, they invite them back to the home of Alexis’ father, continuing the alcohol fueled party. That’s where the body count begins, though to say more would spoil the surprise, even if the filmmakers are quick to reveal it, and are a little too pleased with themselves. Those filmmakers happen to be Marc Meyers in the director’s chair, along with Alan Trezza penning the script. Tarin Anderson handles the cinematography, while Tim Williams composes the score. Supporting players include Johnny Knoxville, Allison McAtee, and more.
Alexandra Daddario is great here, though all three of the leading ladies turn in memorable work. Daddario, Amy Forsyth, and Maddie Hasson have excellent chemistry with each other, in particular Daddario and Hasson. They absolutely are having a blast together. Forsyth is asked to do the most dramatic work, and she shines as well. The trio are easily the biggest highlight of the flick. The boys are fine, too, but they don’t leave nearly the mark that the girls do. Without them, the charms of the story, and in particular, the interactions between characters, wouldn’t have quite the spark that they do here.
We Summon the Darkness is the type of film that benefits from little touches. The leading ladies are impeccably casted, while Marc Meyers and Alan Trezza deftly present a retro setting. By making this production set in the 1980’s American Heartland, there’s an extra vibe that not only better sets the stage for what’s to come, but just makes for a more enjoyable time. Despite the carnage to come at about the midway point, this is often a blast to watch. The humor is dark, but it laces very well with the horror elements. Had the twist been handled a little more deftly, we’d have had a truly great work on our hands.
On Friday, a very good little genre film in We Summon the Darkness is being released into the world. Fans of Alexandra Daddario should definitely give it a look, but anyone who enjoys this sort of fright flick will almost certainly get a kick out of it. As long as you don’t guess the twist early on (I did, almost immediately), the movie will even have some surprises along the way. Daddario and company make this an easy one to recommend…
Be sure to check out We Summon the Darkness, available to rent On Demand this weekend!
(Photos courtesy of Saban Films)