Combustible Celluloid
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With: Alexandra Daddario, Johnny Knoxville, Keean Johnson, Logan Miller, Maddie Hasson, Allison McAtee, Amy Forsyth, Stephanie Moroz, Austin Swift
Written by: Alan Trezza
Directed by: Marc Meyers
MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence, pervasive language, some drug use and sexual references
Running Time: 83
Date: 04/10/2020

We Summon the Darkness (2020)

3 Stars (out of 4)

A Test of Metal

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

We Summon the Darkness is a sturdy little cat-and-mouse thriller about Alexis (Alexandra Daddario) and her two friends (Maddie Hasson and Amy Forsyth) who take a road trip to attend a heavy metal concert.

It's 1988, and there has been a rash of satanic killings.

The women meet a vanload of boys — led by the haunted-looking Mark (Keean Johnson) — after a milkshake tossed out the window lands on their windshield. They make friends anyway, and after the concert, go back to Alexis's place for a party. And all hell breaks loose.

We Summon the Darkness recalls the brilliant Green Room (2016), except that, instead of a potent and timely subtheme about racism, this one offers a more broadly comic view of religion and intolerance, with none other than Johnny Knoxville playing a wealthy television preacher.

What it does have is a pretty good twist, as well as taut, suspenseful filmmaking and a strong use of space. It knows how to rock.

I was unable to see a physical DVD or Blu-ray during this time of sheltering-at-home, but Lionsgate kindly sent me a digital copy. It comes with a 16-minute behind-the-scenes featurette ("Envisioning Darkness"), and a fun commentary track by director Marc Meyers and writer Alan Trezza.

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