The eighties continue to thrive thanks the endless filmmakers wanting to revisit the decade, that likely contains so much variation in horror and culture, all of it to be experienced outside of the home, discovery was found by doing not asking Alexia or Siri. Hence we find the newest release from director Marc Meyers (My Friend Dahmer [2017]) and screenwriter Alan Trezza (Burying the Ex [2014]) distributed by Saban Films, in a movie that is clearly obvious what occurs thanks to both the trailer and numerous stills posted all over the net. Therefore, the review definitely contains spoilers, there’s absolutely no way to do it without them.

It’s 1988; A rash of ritualistic murders dominates the news as satanic panic stokes fear across the country, after all heavy metal is the tool to attract the teens according to all evangelicals along with a series of other influencers including alcohol, dancing and horror films, (insert laughter). In Indiana, three young women, fully decked in the typical metal fan gear, traveling a lonesome highway road, yeah it sounds cliché, but got to start somewhere. The ladies led by Alexis (Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D [2013]) and her friends Val (Maddie Hasson) who seems suffer constant bladder problems and then there’s a more of reserved pal Bev (Amy Forsyth (Hell Fest [2018]) heading to a heaving metal concert for Soldiers of Satan which their venue appears to look more like a tiny shop in a strip mall area. On route they hear and see a news reports about satanic killing warnings of repenting from Pastor John Henry Butler (Johnny Knoxville), who appears more of a snake oil con man than one with the Lord. Along their journey they meet three fellow headbangers Kovacs (Logan Miller (Escape Room [2019])), Mark (Keean Johnson), and Ivan (Austin Swift), who had splattered the gals’ car with a chocolate milkshake for unknown reasons, they meet in part of the parking lot for this band. It’s obvious the heavy metal obsession plays into the movie, especially with the Dave Mustaine and Metallica controversary, while discussing legendary bassist Cliff’s skills. After a rather lame concert, Alexis takes the boys back to her parents’ home who are out for the night, and it begins about 15-minutes of drinking, endless chatter and playing the game ‘Never Have I’ setting the second act, which at this point I shall skip forward it just ruins too much for those haven’t seen the flick  yet. By the mid-second act some bloodshed starts, but the script squanders precious moments, especially when introducing new characters from a stepmother to a sheriff, but they seem more as spontaneous after thoughts merely dismissed as quickly as they glanced the screen. The end just speeds to strange a conclusion going a tad too far to make any sense the comedy works only so far before disastrous results.

The film never too dark, it maintains a middle of the road horror, trying not to spill into comedy freefall (a miss opportunity), clearly early is the lacking budget, the film strives to show music as a driving force, but afford the permission rights to just one-track from Mercyful Fate “Black Funeral”. Now clearly if you go about making a satanic movie and using heavy metal as a driving influence one’s going to more metal, a series of movies actually existed in the 80s such as Rocktober Blood (1984); Black Roses (1988) and even more recently Deathgasm (2015). Here’s a hint for future filmmakers reach out to unsigned bands on Facebook, or other forum sites for permission to use their music in exchange for credit on the end of the movie. Another issue is he painful dialogue, it’s doesn’t exactly correctly all the time, and plot tries to cover holes in the storyline, a few more writes definitely warranted before filming, it’s always suggested another reader to examine the script before production starts, especially trying to do so much with a limited budget.

The overall story allows for a one time viewing, the lack of music doesn’t help., and unlike the Green Room (2015) where a small group of individuals find themselves trapped in back room, those characters had motivation, however herein these characters find themselves painted into a time corner, only briefly does anyone does something unexpected but enough to generated any suspense or ever a hint tension, it all becomes to convenient in the last act. Sadly, it’s obvious where the movie wanted to go, a recreation of 80s horror films with metal music, and not a horror musical (that’s a different animal altogether), it just misses those proper notes, and begins to rush it all with a random body count at the end.

Tagline: Be careful what you pray for.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8058874/

https://www.thefyzz.com/project/we-summon-the-darkness

IMDb Rating: 5.1/10

Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10