We Summon the Darkness (2019)

*. While not the worst movie I’ve ever seen — not by a long shot! — this is nevertheless a total dog that was no fun at all. While I was watching it I kept thinking that it couldn’t end soon enough. So I don’t want to spend much time on it here.
*. When your biggest calling card is having Johnny Knoxville as a co-star I think you’re letting the audience know that the bar isn’t being set very high. You also know that when he does appear, as a televangelist preaching against the horrors of heavy metal music, something’s not right. No spoiler alerts for seeing through that false shepherd’s disguise! Or for guessing that the bad girls are really bad girls. If you were expecting twists, lose those expectations now.
*. The religious angle is heavy-handed and unoriginal. Christians are the real bad guys (“Beg for Christ’s forgiveness before I kill you!”). Knoxville’s Praise the Lord is really Pass the Loot. How exactly the Satanic killings played into all of this wasn’t totally clear to me, or remotely credible. But . . . that’s it for plot.
*. We’ve been here before. Just the year before there’d been the ironic invocation of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” in The Strangers: Prey at Night and here it’s Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.” Because . . . I don’t know. It’s irony? These are the ’80s, you see. And we didn’t have irony back then.
*. Oh well. Shot in 16 days, and maybe written in that many hours. If you’re looking for retro heavy-metal mayhem I’d suggest Mandy, a more ambitious and original picture. I’m really not sure who the target audience was here. Johnny Knoxville fans who may be wondering what he’s been up to recently? No suspense, no scares, no good kills. A listless entry into what’s become a jaded genre.

21 thoughts on “We Summon the Darkness (2019)

      1. tensecondsfromnow

        Great films this year if you seek them out.

        Critters Do Ontario ( fan film)

        Leprechaun Down Under

        King John (1867)

        The Ghastly Ones

        Midnight Meat Grinder Gore GoGo Girls

    1. Alex Good

      The problem with the “worst film ever” question is that there are “best worst films” like Plan 9 and Troll 2 that are actually kind of enjoyable. There are movies that are epic wastes of money and talent and then there are movies that are just incompetent or so cheaply made it’s unfair to rank them. But the worst film is almost certainly a movie you never finished watching because it had no redeemable features. Then there are movies that are morally or politically deplorable.

      It’s a messy question. Any movie you hated more than any other?

      Reply
      1. Over-The-Shoulder

        I remember being forced to The Last Airbender and I can’t think of watching anything worse than that. If you gave me a while I could probably come up with a big money film that’s I think is massively overrated…

      2. Over-The-Shoulder

        Apart from being the most boring, plotless, terribly acted, terribly directed and slightly racist film ever, it definitely has it’s strong points. And nowhere near so bad it’s good. It’s just really really bad.

      3. Over-The-Shoulder

        Haven’t watched it, but I fear your getting dragged in just because of the name. If that’s the case, When Harry Met Sally is a far better choice. Have you seen some of that knitwear? Wow.

      4. Alex Good Post author

        I actually have a pretty nice collection of jumpers myself. Stallone wore a neat one in the original Rocky. Real vintage stuff.

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