Wednesday 15 April 2020

Movie Review: WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS (2019)

We Summon The Darkness is a Horror-Comedy set in 1988 about a group of teenage girls, Heavy Metal and Satanic ritualistic murder. It had a very limited release in 2019, but became available worldwide in April 2020. Oh, and Johnny Knoxville is in it too. If that isn't enough to warrant giving this movie a go, I don't know what is.


From the trailer, I thought this would be a kind of coming-of-age film with three hot girls getting targeted by a serial killer. That's a formula for many a movie and TV series. It's a timeless recipe and sells. However, We Summon The Darkness is quite different to what I expected.

The story starts with three girls on a road trip to see a Metal band. They stop at a petrol station, and in the shop, the news is on the TV talking about a series of Satanic murders, and a preacher played by Johnny Knoxville, is denouncing the evils of Heavy Metal.

They meet three guys in the car park at the gig and watch the show with them. The music the band on stage is miming to is actually Mercyful Fate's Black Funeral, which I thought was a cool choice. Anyway, one of the girls, Alexis, invites them for a post-gig party at her Dad's house, which turns out to be a mansion. They drug the guys' drinks and when they wake up, they are tied to chairs surrounded by pentagrams, sheep skulls and all kinds of Satanic accessories. 

Here comes the twist. The girls are part of Johnny Knoxville's Christian church, who is incidentally Alexis's Dad, and the congregation are murdering people and making it look like Satanists are doing it. The idea is that the ensuing 'Satanic panic' will drive more people to their corrupt church. I didn't see that coming, and it's a bit crap and painfully flawed as far as sensible writing goes. Despite being a daft idea, the violence and farcical black comedy really takes off at this point, making for a thoroughly entertaining and hilarious film. 

So, until the twist, I was enjoying it, but felt that the dialogue could have been funnier and the story a little more eventful. I thought this was going to be one of those films that's 'good', but had to potential to be so much better. Then after that pivotal moment, it takes off and the movie is elevated to being something that I'd consider to be definitely worth a watch.


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