‘There will be HELL to pay.’
The Summoned is a 2022 American horror film in which two high-profile couples are forced to examine the cost of their success when they’re invited to an exclusive self-help retreat where their ancestors sold their souls generations prior.
Directed by actor Mark Meir – making his feature directorial debut (he also co-stars) from a screenplay written by co-producer Yuri Baranovsky. Also produced by Annika Dawson, Angela Gulner, Mark Meir, Justin Morrison and Dashiell Reinhardt.
The movie also stars Emma Fitzpatrick (Take Back the Night; Sleepwalker; Bloodsucking Bastards; The Collection), Angela Gulner, J. Quinton Johnson, Salvador Chacon and Frederick Stuart.
” …the film is much more effective in its stalk-and-slash simplicity with bloody-faced monologues and axe-wielder confrontations. The Summoned has enough going for it as a competently made genre offering with little means, but its execution of familiar devil-dealing ideas doesn’t ultimately land with enough impact or bite as its brethren.” Grade: C, The Artful Critic
“The Summoned is a well-made horror which uses a familiar idea in an inventive and unusual way. Director Mark Meir gradually ramps up the creepiness, and despite the shallowness of the characters, never loses focus on the objective. Skilfully managing to avoid just about every pitfall which come with the territory.” Backseat Mafia
“The Summoned tries hard to build up tension in the first hour, placing clues and hints that point to the real reason that the group are at the retreat. This, combined with the setting of a secluded location, the mistrust that is created between the other characters and the dream-like sequences, do create a sense of intrigue. However, there are too many reveals, twists and double-crosses in the final act that over-complicate the story.” 2.5 out of 5, Daily Dead
“The Summoned treads some familiar territory at times but has plenty of heart and chutzpah to recommend it as an interesting, entertaining watch. Fans of fish-out-of-water horror and Mephistophelean movies should find plenty to enjoy with this feature. ” Gruesome magazine
“A small budget film, that uses what it has wisely. The Summoned weaves in and out of regular setups that you’ve seen before but it does manage to veer away from predictability at least until the final act but the film still that has plenty going for it.” Haddonfield Horror
“The script, written by Jewish-Ukrainian writer Yuri Baranovsky, is intriguing and engaging. I did feel there was a tiny bit of a lull towards the third act. But certainly, nothing that takes away from the overall experience. Also, a little lull is always good to lure your audience into relaxing to ensure that the third and final act hits even harder.” Heaven of Horror
“The Summoned doesn’t have much we haven’t seen before. But anchored with strong performances, it offers up an effective, minimalist sacrifice to the horror gods, one that’s worth checking out and bodes well for what’s to come from Mark Meir as a filmmaker.” Grade: B- The Last Thing I See
“Perhaps the most enjoyable element of this film was the willingness to lean into camp. The performances offered by Gulner and Frederick Stuart as the flamboyant Doctor Frost gave even the most grisly moments appropriate levity. This levity is the ultimate grace the film needs to distance itself from gloom-obsessed horrors of the past (think Insidious, The Conjuring, etc.).” 3.5 out of 5, Maddwolf
“The cast is pretty good, I have to say, with Gulner nicely vamping up the “sexy and I know it” bit […] The plot is entirely too predictable, so much in the thrall of Get Out […] Still, major style points to bit player turned first-time director Meir for managing a spooky tone and great atmosphere on a shoestring.” Movie Nation
” …while we get a creepy vibe from the retreat and suspicions run rampant, no type of plot develops until after the film’s midway point. The characters never really develop beyond stereotypes and we never even learn much about the supposed hero. […] The movie relies heavily on deception and treachery, but without proper character development, it’s difficult to actually feel betrayed.” 3.5 out of 5, Nightmarish Conjurings
“The bigger takeaway here is that this movie is invested with the spirit and enthusiasm of a maiden voyage. The first baby. Everyone is giving it all and that spark carries through the production. It is light. It is enjoyable. It is willing to get a little bloody too…” The Scariest Things
“It’s not terribly frightening, nor does it strive for originality. It makes up for it with character and a director with a clear enough vision of what they wanted to accomplish. Truth be told, it harkens back more to vintage Twilight Zone than it does Halloween or Evil Dead. It’s creepy, funny, and weird. ” Tilt
“The last act does pick up the pace both in terms of plot twists and action but The Summoned still keeps most of its violence off-screen […] The Summoned may not be a huge gamechanger of a film, but it is well made and different enough to stand out…” 3.5 out of 5, Voices from the Balcony
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