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Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween 2019: We Summon the Darkness review

Three girls hook up with three boys at a rock concert and their night takes an unexpected turn.

We Summon the Darkness
Credit: FrightFest

Friends Alexis (Alexandra Daddario), Val (Maddie Hasson) and Bev (Amy Forsyth) are on their way to a rock concert when they hear about a spate of killings by a satanic cult. Undeterred, they go to the concert and meet Mark (Keean Johnson), Kovacs (Logan Miller) and Ivan (Austin Swift). The boys try to pick them up and initially they turn them down but eventually they’re won over and Alexis invites them to her father’s house for a party. As the booze flows and the fun begins, a game of Never Have I Ever leads to a shocking revelation and the night takes a shocking and deadly turn.

It’s really hard to talk about We Summon the Darkness without giving away the twist that takes place in the first half an hour. I’m going to try my best to talk around it without giving too much away but if you’re completely spoiler-averse, I’d stop reading right now. Writer Alan Trezza has crafted a horror film that subverts common horror tropes, most obviously the idea that women are always the victims of men. In this film the tables get turned pretty drastically and it’s interesting to see male characters playing the victims for once.

We Summon the Darkness

Credit: FrightFest

The film cleverly leads you down one path and then does a switch-and-bait that works but it has another trick to throw you after that takes place. Nothing is quite what it seems with the premise or with the characters, and when the full truth reveals itself the film turns into a very enjoyable ride. The dialogue is razor sharp and the six leads are really strong. Alexandra Daddario, who also produces, showcases a completely different side to her abilities and she gives a really fantastic performance here.

Keean Johnson, who is probably best-known for his recurring role in the Country music drama Nashville, impresses and marks himself out for leading roles in the future. Initially he doesn’t get a whole lot to do in the film but by the end he makes quite the impression. Amy Forsyth and Maddie Hasson are similar to Johnson, taking seemingly small roles and making sure you remember them. Both actresses are superb in their roles with Hasson definitely the scene-stealer. Johnny Knoxville appears in a small but pivotal role too and he has a lot of fun in the scenes he’s in.

We Summon the Darkness is a riot of a movie and it turns your expectations on their head. The combination of smart dialogue and truly surprising twists and turns will keep you gripped until the very end. The talented cast is a joy to watch and the film will have you laughing out loud frequently. It’s not particularly scary but you’ll have so much fun watching it that you won’t mind one bit.

Cast: Alexandra Daddario, Maddie Hasson, Keean Johnson, Johnny Knoxville, Logan Miller Director: Marc Meyers Writer: Alan Trezza Certificate: TBC Duration: 83 mins Released by: TBC

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