It’s the late 80’s- Big Hair, Extreme Fashion and Heavy Metal.
The scene opens to three friends on a road trip through Indiana to a heavy metal show. The car radio is blaring news of a satanic cult on a murderous rampage that’s sweeping the nation, but the friends pay no mind, more concerned with snack consumption and rock music.
We Summon the Darkness is a 2019 horror thriller film directed by Marc Meyers and written by Alan Trezza.
The film follows Alexis (Alexandra Daddario), her best friend Val (Maddie Hasson), and newcomer Bev (Amy Forsyth) on their journey to a heavy metal show. The girls stop at a rest stop to refuel and restock on snacks. As they approach the counter to pay, we see a pastor on the TV behind the clerk talking about his congregation, Daughters of the Dawn, and seeking new members. He speaks about the satanic cult and preaches to join his congregation to be “saved”. The girls pay no mind and continue on their route.
When they make it to the show, they are befriended by three fellow metal-heads. After the show the girls invite the boys back to Alexis’ father’s summer home to continue to party.
Here’s what I liked about this movie; it has all the usual slasher movie vibes, but we quickly learn that not everything is what it seems.
At first glance, the audience is made to feel weary about the intentions of the three newcomers, conditioned to believe that three men, dressed in rocker apparel, must be part of the satanic cult murdering people in the area. It’s also apparent that we are meant to sympathize with Pastor John and Daughters of the Dawn because religious groups have our best interests at heart and are always there to provide guidance and a safe haven, right?
We Summon the Darkness proves that we are so, so wrong. I think what this film so successfully accomplished was taking a classic horror theme and completely turning it on its head.
Here’s what we learn after the three boys are drugged and tied up by the girls- The girls are a part of the “cult”, but the cult is not that of satanic nature as the media makes us believe, rather Pastor John, who is Alexis’ father, is the cult leader and the cult is Daughters of the Dawn. The members are sent on “missions” to kill people and make it look like the work of a satanic cult in order to summon fear in the public and urge them to seek solace amongst the congregation. This in turn allows Daughters of the Dawn to carry out their work in strengthening their hold on society, for one, but also the charitable “donations” of the flock are thickening Pastor John’s pockets.
Without giving the ending away, I will say that the film was fun, energetic and unexpected.
Alexandra Daddario gives a stellar performance and masters “crazy” with her intense looks and outrageous actions throughout. If you’re looking for a twist on the classic horror/slasher film, look no further.