The Summoning – USA, 2014 – reviews

 

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‘The ritual has begun’

The Summoning is a 2014 American horror film written and directed by Curtis Schultz. It stars Shanna Mclaughlin, Amy LoCicero, Brian C. Chenworth and Jordan Wall.

Originally titled Into the Forest, it should not be confused with the 2015 or the 2017 films of the same name.

A group of friends set out on a road trip to “the party of the century” in the middle of nowhere, but on the way, they break down and find themselves being hunted for a satanic ritual…

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Review:

You have to wonder what goes through the minds of people when making a film like The Summoning. Do they really believe that they are creating some sort of
edgy, powerful work of art that will have genre fans gasping in amazement and which will instantly propel them into the big time? Or do they actually want to grind out something utterly generic, derivative and ploddingly slow, assuming that a title and video sleeve that makes it look like pretty much everything else will be enough to ensure a video deal and profitable sales to the sort of people who buy any old crap?

The Summoning is breathtakingly bad – an insult to everyone who watches it, as it piles on cliché after cliché, keeping costs down by having its cast of non-actors
wander around in the dark woods, arguing with each other at length. The film even goes out of its way to make these characters as unpleasant as possible – the two male leads are effectively set up as shallow, smug morons in the opening scenes, and yet we are expected to somehow sympathise with them instead of looking at our watches repeatedly and wondering why the damn thing has been on for almost an hour without anything actually happening.

The ‘plot’ – if we can be indulgent enough to call it that – sees a bunch of college kids heading for a party, breaking down in the woods and then (after an eternity) coming across a murderous satanic cult who appear to be demonic beings. And that’s about it. The exploitative promise of the cover and an opening scene involving a busty girl wearing nothing but underwear and blood proves to be little more than a tease, and the film can’t even deliver on the sex ‘n’ violence levels, having scant nudity and ineffectual gore scenes.

Written, directed and presumably enjoyed by Curtis Schultz, The Summoning is as bad as horror cinema gets – an insult to fans who have done nothing to deserve such a slap in the face. Avoid it at all costs.

David Flint, MOVIES & MANIA

Other reviews:

The Summoning has the format you would recognise from countless movies and also tries to fit in as many horror cliches as possible, car broke down, no phone coverage etc. Thankfully comic relief is found in the character of Drew (played by Flavio Milicchio) who is definitely socially awkward but has the best lines in the whole film.” Peter Hopkins, Horrorscreams Videovault

The Summoning isn’t exactly treading new ground storywise, and the characters are at times so obnoxious you wish them dead … but what the film’s perfect at is creating a maximum of tension out of rather sparing sets, it’s very well-paced with a focus on action, and it’s peppered with a few very nasty killings.” Mike Haberfeiner, Search My Trash

Main cast:

  • Shanna Mclaughlin
  • Amy LoCicero (Cassadaga)
  • Brian C. Chenworth (shorts: The Haunted House; ReRe-animated)
  • Jordan Wall (Dead End)
  • J. LaRose
  • John Kyle
  • Flavio Milicchio
  • Elaine Hoxie
  • Lainie Kates

Filming locations:

Orlando, Sanford and Winter Park, Florida

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