There’s been a history of movies out there with dirt simple plots managing to land an excellent execution that made the experience brilliant. To me however, clever movies that tread on rather pedestrian plots without adjusting to the discourse that helps it work to begin with is an opportunity well and truly wasted and “We Summon The Darkness” somehow managed to walk that fine line between actively surprising me and royally pissing me off. But I often have to remind myself that the plot doesn’t make up the entire crux of the story and for what it did have as a story, you could do worse with. Admittedly, I was delightfully taken aback by the commentary here about spreading the awareness of salvation, inspiring others to not take their own lives at the expense of others, peer pressure and making the public believe what they want to believe (brainwashing, seeing isn’t believing on TV, etc). While I couldn’t get much grip on the characters, the chemistry from the trio did help set up a rather believable friendship, if I could call that because I think snarky sisterhood is the better word. Cinematography was above average most of the time while editing was decent, I got a couple of laughs here and there, production design and presentation didn’t pose much of an issue to me, similar to that of the pacing and it lives the hell out of its R-rating.
But here’s where we get to what pisses me off about this entire thing: The film slaps you in the face with a major twist half an hour in that pulls the bloody rug out from under you but the impact doesn’t last throughout the second and third act as I dissected how unoriginal this cat-and-mouse enactment became. And the thing is I wouldn’t have minded it much.....if they actually DID something clever with it. Here it follows directly from other house invasion thriller flick: unexpected visitor, the cutting of house lights, the killers not being as skilled as they want themselves to believe, the list goes on and on. And then they actually pull ANOTHER twist on you near the end that also makes a lot sense and could’ve added more stakes to elevate the entire situation but again, they don’t do anything with it. It doesn’t benefit any of the other characters, offer any inventive building blocks for worldbuilding and—I—I don’t know what irritates me more: the failure to further develop the interesting commentary that was given beyond that central idea or the fact that I was so foolishly taken aback by the first twist on the first viewing that I almost paid no attention to everything else. Even the beats of tongue-in-cheek nostalgia and 80’s slasher throwbacks didn’t mean shit to me in the end.
I don’t know why I’m making a big deal out of THIS film compared to the plethora of others I’ve seen. The film knows exactly what it wants to be and doesn’t try to be anything more but that’s what really ticks me off about it; I saw glimpses of a solid film to where if they didn’t go so basic and generic with the direction in the last two acts, it COULD’VE been something more.