We Summon the Darkness is a perfectly competent horror film. It’s built around a familiar premise, where after an establishing first act – in which a trio of girls head to a metal concert in the ‘80s as reports of Satanic killers circulate – we spend the entire film in a single location (an isolated mansion) navigating said killers and a host of unexpected guests.
That’s a concept that’s played dividends in many films – Wolf Creek! Green Room! You’re Next! – but has also been squandered often, as in last year’s similarly-conceived Satanic Panic. Darkness falls squarely in the middle. Stylistically, it’s capable but uncreative, and the narrative is about the same. The acting talent here is higher than you’d expect, featuring the likes of Love, Simon’s Logan Miller and True Detective’s Alexandra Daddario, but they can’t elevate some very conventional characterisation and some very predictable twists.
Still, the film satisfyingly scratches that ‘80s slasher itch that’s so rarely catered to nowadays. Do I wish that the third act was more creative, that it pushed towards goriness or silliness harder? Sure. But as an aficionado of dead teenager flicks, I was happy with We Summon the Darkness. I just wasn’t excited by it.