A female trio having enjoyed a Heavy Metal concert, join up with three boys and head home, only to find death awaits, in this 80’s setting horror from the director of My Friend With Dahmer….
When I was handed this screener to review, I was told a summary that described it as a “Scream meets Funny Games”. As both those films are in My Top Horror List, then you can only imagine the excitement that spread through my body and even if it only matched 40% of what those classics offered, then it was still just what I needed in this surreal isolation time.
Sadly, it was a summary that couldn’t be far from the truth! There was no masked killer running amok with a kitchen knife or two boys knocking on a door and asking “can they borrow an egg?”. What I faced instead was a horror that was nothing like I wished it to be!
A hint of what horror awaits Val (Maddie Hasson), Beverly (Amy Forsyth), and Alexis (Alexandra Daddario) can be heard on a radio station as they head off to a Heavy Metal Concert. A news segment is played out of further bodies being found in what seemed like a satanic sacrifice and every horror fan watching will know that this will probably be the fate that awaits these three young girls!
Stopping off for at a Gas Station where the old man behind the counter is watching a Pastor (Johnny Knoxville) on TV screaming out that this new wave of music is evil -well this is set in the 80’s-only fuels your suspicions and once the girls meet up with a trio of boys, Mark (Keean Johnson), Kovacs (Logan Miller), and Ivan (Austin Swift), then the stage is set!
Nothing really happens in the first half hour and it may test those who want more pace to their horrors. The acting is well done and each character bounces off one another, but the script doesn’t crackle with witty energy like it believes it does and the tone is at odds with what its trying to create.
Having a slow burn beginning is great for many horror films as it sets the mood for what is to come, but when there is no tension or fear of dread and a lack of decent gags could have many of you turning off way before the film shows its hand.
Yes, the film lives or dies by what happens before we hit the middle mark! Just when you think you know where we are heading, the plot turns full tilt and reveals its surprise and while it may delight the unsuspected few, I am guessing there will be many who have seen better film use this trick and will have guessed the apparent shock, long before it smacks itself in the face!
Once we hit the hour mark, director Marc Meyers lets loose and starts to have a bit of fun. With the gang having gone back to one of the character homes, shit hits the fan and with it, deaths occur. If I am being vague, its because I need to be, the twist halfway through will only raise the enjoyment levels for those who don’t see it coming, the rest will hope the death scenes live up to the watch, which sadly is a no as they are so brief and unremarkable that they become instantly forgettable!
There are some positives. It’s well acted, the trio of girls more than watchable with Forsyth stealing the show, Daddario channelling the spirt of Fairuza Balk and yes that is Taylor Swifts real life brother playing one of the boys. Its also never boring. I admit the opening half is not engaging enough, but as it follows many familiar horror beats, the love of horror within you will make you want to see how it all ends.
The expected appearance of Knoxville towards the finale doesn’t really bring the desired chaos I expected, but with a decent “fight for survival” climax that does please, We Summon The Darkness is nothing more than a daft horror, enjoyed more with a few beers on a Saturday night!
And if I have to compare it between the quality of say “Scream meets Funny Games”, then judging by what’s on offer….”Urban Legend meets Scary Movie V” is a more than suitable tagline!