“Satanic Panic” was a real thing. No, seriously. A dominate, and unifying, narrative from the evangelical 80s was the belief that the road to hell was paved with heavy metal records. People were convinced that devil worship was on the rise and satantic cults were actively recruiting the world’s children. Listening to, and attending, metal bands was the gateway. I know, it’s a reach.
But if you take a look around, contemporary society isn’t doing that good a job hiding that it’s christian sensibilities haven’t evolved far beyond this type of thinking. We Summon the Darkness harkens back to not only the 80s for it’s narrative thread but it’s look.
Friends, Alexis (Alexandra Daddario), Val (Maddie Hasson) and Bev (Amy Forsyth) road trip to a heavy metal concert. This offi-color band of ladies trade quips and banter about inane topics all the way to the show. A short pit stop where a news report about ritualistic serial murders, and a quick shift to a evangelical pastor (Johnny Knoxville) pontificating about the wages of sin, does a bit of easy to miss foreshadowing about things to come.
After meeting up with a group of fellow metal heads, Mark (Keean Johnson), Kovacs (Logan Miller), and Ivan (Austin Swift), it swiftly becomes clear that this trio is out to do more than keep the good time going after the show.
Written by Alan Trezza and directed by Mark Myers (My Friend Dahmer) We Summon the Darkness is an irreverent horror/comedy that brings an edgy mayhem and gory ridiculousness. With the rise of the evangelical political machine the vehicle driving its off-kilter message, We Summon the Darkness crafts a lurid slick film that just entertaining and metal. If you walk away thinking about how manipulation and propaganda have a tendency to lie at the core of movements and exploit the vulnerable, well that just…the point.