We Summon the Darkness is a slasher movie recently released on Netflix after a limited theater run in 2019. The film focuses on a group of young people who find themselves entangled in cultist murders. It takes slasher movie tropes and turns them upside down while simultaneously following other tropes to a tee, as the Satanic Panic dials up to eleven.
The story starts with a trio of young women driving out to a heavy metal rock concert, at the start of the satanic panic. After the concert, they party with three guys who they met after the guys threw a milkshake on their car, so the women tossed a firecracker in their van. After arriving at the house, they smoke, and drink, and play “Never Have I Ever”. During the game, the guys pass out from drugged drinks, and then wake up half naked and tied to chairs. And here’s where things really start to get interesting…
Turns out, the women are members of a cult that is killing people to convince the world that rock ‘n roll is actually satanic, so that people will seek salvation. They kill the first guy, but the other victims escape and hide in another area of the house. The girls try smoking them out, but the leader’s stepmother shows up. She gets stabbed, but turns out, she had called the cops! The cop arrives and gets shot. Things get dicey between two of the girls, while the third decides that she wants the killing to end. She takes the guys’ side, but the leader’s father now shows up – the pastor of the murder-y church. In a final standoff, hair gets lit on fire (with special effects that belong in the 80s), folks get stabbed, pushed out windows, and run over by cars. It’s a finale worthy of a standoff fought with whatever was handy nearby.
We Summon the Darkness is exactly what The Cabin In The Woods made fun of. Three girls; the leader, the sexy one, and the shy one, drive off to a metal concert for a “night to remember” while hearing murder reports on the radio. The gas station clerk is a shady old man. The tropes continue when the ladies meet the trio of boys; the loud one, the fat one, and the smart one. But once they reach the after party, things really start to get interesting. The girls are the murderers!
They’re part of a huge cult killing people to convince them that rock ‘n roll is sinful! Then we jump back into the cliches; the shy one gets cold feet and then the surviving people start to escape – and then it starts getting interesting again! The cops are coming! She shoots the cops! It turns out that all this is being orchestrated by a corrupt televangelist! This dude comes in like he’s the Final Boss in a scene that feels like it’s straight out The Goonies.
The story was interesting, but not interesting enough to make the hour and a half runtime go quickly. And what’s a slasher movie set in the 80s without a fight scene set to fun, poppy music. Yep, it’s got that too, if unfortunately short lived.
We Summon the Darkness is a film that turns cliches on its head and will probably make you swear a few times, whether it’s a twist in the story or one case of hysterically bad special effects. It should definitely make the list if you want to see some violent folks run around with some pretty messed up motivations.
This article was written by a guest contributor