We Summon the Darkness (2020)

wesummonthedarkness

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A trio of girls give a trio of guys more than they ever bargained for in this very crazy horror-comedy from director Marc Meyers.

Alexis and Val are two young women who have picked up a runaway, Bev, and the trio decide to head to a heavy metal concert. However, there have also been reports of a series of ritualistic murders across the country. As they attend the concert, they meet Mark, Kovacs, and Ivan. After the concert, the six hang out and talk about their love of metal. Alexis tells the group she has the house to herself this weekend and they should go to there to have some fun for the night.

As the group arrives, they play a game in which towards the end, Alexis admits to drugging the three guys. When the guys awaken, they are inside a room with Satanic messaging all over the place. Alexis soon reveals her true nature. She and Val, along with newcomer Bev, are part of a religious conservative cult who are responsible for the murders cross country as they plan to cleanse the world from heavy metal and its ties to Satan, and it’s Alexis’ turn to cleanse as other members of the cult have been responsible for the murders. Will the three guys be able to escape their captors, or will they be next in the ritual “cleansing” of the mysterious cult?

With a 1980s setting and set in a time where heavy metal was at its peak of popularity with both a penchant with some bands using lyrics in reference to Satan, director Marc Meyers and screenwriter Alan Trezza did an amazing job to depict a “what if” motif in veins of horror, with members of a crazed religious cult intending to “cleanse” the country of those who love heavy metal because they believe that all metal music involves Satan. The idea of religious cults as killers have been done in a more shocking and serious form, but Trezza’s script calls for some funny moments to quell that tension and it works quite well here.

The highlight of the film is the performance of lead Alexandra Daddario, who also serves one of the executive producers on the film. As Alexis, a seemingly normal young woman who loves for heavy metal, she goes from zero to one-hundred when her shocking revelation of being the next one chosen to kill for the cult is revealed. She is definitely on the level of Fairuza Balk’s performance in The Craft when it comes to showing her maniacal crazy side. In other words, she goes off the deep end in a bat[censored] kind of way.

Keean Johnson’s Mark is a great character in that when he learns the truth, he goes to great lengths to help his buddies escape with the help of an unexpected ally. Maddie Hasson’s Val, Alexis’ bestie and sidekick in this dangerous situation, is reminiscent of Julie Benz’s crazy BFF Marcie in the dark comedy Jawbreaker with a bit of an edge as she is a combination of bubblehead and crazy, but not so much like her cohort. It is her character that provides some of the comic relief that slows the insanity and tension of the film. There is a very crazy twist that opens the third act and it involves the character of the reverend who has publicly denounced the ritualistic murders and he’s played by none other than Johnny Knoxville, who shies away from his iconic Jackass performance to play it straight here.

We Summon the Darkness is part-homage to 1980s heavy metal, part-Jawbreaker with an edge that gives Alexandra Daddario a chance to heighten a level of insanity that is like Fairuza Balk’s character in The Craft. Definitely one of those who love horror comedies.

WFG RATING: B+

Saban Films present a Highland Film Group production in association with The Fyzz Facility, Litecoin Foundation, Magna Entertainnment, Iconic Media One, LB Entertainment, and Nightshade Entertainment. Director: Marc Meyers. Producers: Mark Lane, Robert Jones, James Harris, Kyle Tekiela,  Jarod Einsohn, Christian Armagida, Alexandra Daddario, and Thomas E. Van Dell. Writer: Alan Trezza. Cinematography: Torin Anderson. Editing: Jamie Kirkpatrick and Joe Murphy.

Cast: Alexandra Daddario, Keean Johnson, Maddie Hasson, Logan Miller, Amy Forsyth, Austin Swift, Johnny Knoxville, Allison McAtee, Stephanie Moroz, Erik Athavale, Tanner Beard.

The film will be released On Demand and on Digital on April 10 from Saban Films.

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