WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS is a new horror thriller that starts out great. It’s funny, wacky and bloody. What’s not to like?! Well, the ending, unfortunately. Both the pace during the final third and the actual plot. Read our spoiler-free We Summon The Darkness review!
We Summon The Darkness is a new horror thriller with elements of dark humor. The movie starts out pretty great with some interesting characters and lots of quirky moments. Also, it has quite a lot of blood and religious satire which I enjoyed.
Unfortunately, it all gets lost somewhere around the halfpoint mark. The actors in We Summon the Darkness are actually really great throughout the movie which makes it even worse. This could have been a little cult classic but I doubt it will be.
Continue reading our We Summon The Darkness review below.
A really cool cast
What makes We Summon the Darkness work from the beginning is the cast. We primarily follow three young women and the three young men they meet at a concert. The three women are portrayed by Alexandra Daddario, Maddie Hasson, and Amy Forsyth. And the three men are played by Keean Johnson, Logan Miller, and Austin Swift.
Alexandra Daddario is always cool in my book and she’s great in this movie as well. You should recognize her from starring in Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), season 1 of True Detective, American Horror Story: Hotel and Why Women Kill (2019).
Maddie Hasson (Mr. Mercedes) is brilliant as the girl who has to pee constantly. Amy Forsyth has the most boring character (in my opinion) but does what she can. You should recognize her from the horror movie Hell Fest (2018).
As for the young men, Logan Miller is always a plus in my book. He won me over completely with Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015) and yes, he’s great in this new movie as well. Also, Austin Swift works really well in We Summon the Darkness. As for Keean Johnson (Alita: Battle Angel), he also delivers a good portrayal but his character is a bit boring.
Also, Johnny Knoxville has a small role as Pastor John Henry Butler which is perfect for him.
The ending of We Summon the Darkness
As mentioned at the very beginning of this review, I am not happy with the way it ends. Both the humor and quirks seem to disappear and instead, we need to get serious. It’s almost as if someone decided that the movie needs to make it clear that killing people is wrong and we need to “set things right”.
Well, duh, I think we all know that killing people is wrong. But this movie is about people being killed so could we just stay on point. It almost goes from a dark horror-comedy to a serious horror-drama. It’s both unnecessary and unwanted.
The entire third act is running in circles towards an ending I didn’t enjoy. Also, it was very predictable which I really didn’t care for. The first half of the movie seemed to set up a very different story and I would have preferred to get the ending for that movie instead of what we get!
Watch We Summon the Darkness on Netflix and VOD
Marc Meyers is the director of We Summon the Darkness. Prior to making this new movie, Marc Meyers directed My Friend Dahmer (2017) which I enjoyed. It’s about Jeffrey Dahmer’s high school years and offers some interesting insights.
The screenplay was written by Alan Trezza and I guess he’s to blame for the ending if this was his intention all along. Alan Trezza also wrote the horror-comedy Burying the Ex from 2014 which also starred Alexandra Daddario and was directed by Joe Dante (Nightmare Cinema, Gremlins).
The We Summon the Darkness ending ruined the overall experience for me. And I was happy with it for a long time. Sure, I had guessed many of the plot twists (since they weren’t really hidden that much), but that just means I was clearly “speaking the same language” as the filmmaker. Until it all changed and I clearly wasn’t.
Still, I did enjoy the first half of the movie so much that we’re still keeping it at a respectable 3 out of 5. But it started higher than this while it ended lower, so this really is an average for the entire movie. Consider yourself warned!
We Summon the Darkness is out On Demand from April 10, 2020, and on Netflix (US) from August 8, 2020.
Director: Marc Meyers
Writer: Alan Trezza
Stars: Alexandra Daddario, Johnny Knoxville, Keean Johnson, Maddie Hasson, Logan Miller, Amy Forsyth, Austin Swift
On the way to a heavy metal concert, Alexis (Alexandra Daddario) and two girlfriends hear a news report of a local murder believed to be tied to a series of satanic killings. After the show, the girls invite three guys to join them at the estate owned by Alexis’s father, a fire-and-brimstone preacher (Johnny Knoxville). What starts as a party suddenly turns dark and deadly.