Movie Review: We Summon the Darkness

We Summon the Darkness' Review: A Trio of '80s Metalhead Vipers - Variety

credit: We Summon the Darkness

Unless one watches the trailer or reads the synopsis, it’s kind of tough to figure out what this movie is all about when just walking into it, but the plot does become a little clearer as it moves along, and it becomes easier to guess at what’s going to happen with each passing minute. When three friends, Alexis, Val, and Beverly, are introduced, they’re on their way to a heavy metal concert, and it’s rather apparent that Val is the aggressive and wild one of the bunch, while Beverly is shy and less dedicated for whatever reason. Alexis is the leader of their trio and does her best to keep the peace, but when they meet up with three guys in the parking lot at the venue they’ve been heading toward, it’s established that the trio is the ones who tossed a milkshake out the window and hit the girls’ vehicle, causing them to stop and panic for a moment before determining that it was a prank. The girls manage to get them back by lighting a firecracker and tossing it in their van and somehow end up drinking and partying with them during the concert and inviting them back to Alexis’s home afterward. 

The Last Thing I See: 'We Summon The Darkness' (2019) Movie Review

credit: We Summon the Darkness

The twist comes slowly but is hard to miss. 

Once the guys and the girls get back to the house, they keep drinking, and it appears that things might be taking a turn at some point and that the story might eventually get a bit steamy. But as they play a game of ‘never have I ever’, things begin to change, and when Alexis mentions something about drugging a person’s drink, during which time one of the guys, Mark, wanders off beyond the fire and appears to pass out in the lawn. As his buddies, Kovacs and Ivan, start to succumb to whatever the girls drugged them with, the ladies begin to laugh as they mock the guys, telling them that there was never any chance that they would have sex. As the men succumb to the drug, Val mocks them before the darkness takes hold, making it easy to understand that she’s one of the most unlikable characters in the movie. 

Score another point against religion, right? 

It might not be directly aimed at religious cults and zealots, but the theme of this movie quickly becomes rooted in the idea of religion being the reason that the satanic and ritualistic killings that are mentioned earlier in the movie have been happening. As the men wake up and find themselves bound to chairs and seated in a room that has been decorated in a manner that suggests that the girls are part of a cult. But what’s revealed is that they are actually part of a religious group that has been killing those who are seen as dangerous individuals that idolize the worst tenets of heavy metal music. While the guys attempt to explain that they’re not Satan worshippers, that the way they dress and enjoy their lives is a lifestyle, not a religion, the girls don’t care, and Alexis proceeds to stab and kill Ivan when he refuses to be silent. When Beverly pulls the other two away to talk to them, Mark and Kovacs escape their bonds and hide within the pantry after Kovacs is cut open and the women give chase. 

We Summon the Darkness Is Johnny Knoxville's Best (and Worst) Role

credit: We Summon the Darkness

It’s not often one sees Johnny Knoxville or Alexandra Daddario as villains. 

Seeing Alexandra Daddario as a villain is different since she’s usually a supporting actress that’s a part of a group of protagonists, and Knoxville is usually someone that doesn’t come off as vicious or duplicitous as the preacher he plays in this movie. In a lot of ways, this movie is kind of silly and shows a darker side of religion and the idea that a guy can’t and shouldn’t trust a pretty face that is disgusted by him and then suddenly reverses course and wants to party with him. The fact that the women tossed a lit firecracker into the guys’ van in retaliation for having a milkshake tossed onto their windshield. But when it’s revealed that the preacher is Alexis’ father and that he’s been unleashing her and her friends on the unsuspecting populace, it becomes easy to root for their deaths. 

The ending is a bit tame and not quite as satisfying. 

When Beverly turns on Val and Alexis, believing what they’re doing to be wrong, she helps Mark to escape after encountering the preacher and tossing Alexis out of a two-story window. Not long after this, she runs Alexis over, and the two make their escape. It is seen shortly after that, the preacher denounces his daughter’s action, stating that she was misguided, and as Beverly and Mark drive off, it’s tough to think that anything was truly resolved. 

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