Seance: The Summoning (2011)

NOVEMBER 27, 2012


I can only assume that it was my tardiness seeing The Exorcist (I was 19) that allows me to be easier to please when it comes to movies like Seance: The Summoning (despite the subtitle, it doesn't seem to be a "sequel" to fellow Lionsgate release Seance). Like Exorcismus and some others, I had heard nothing but rants and "worst movie ever!" type pans about the flick, but I didn't think it was that bad at all. So I think for some folks, they saw Exorcist at an impressionable early age and had their minds fucked forever, and now any similar movie doesn't even come close to having the same impact, and thus "sucks". Or maybe I've just seen so many that I can't even tell good from bad anymore, I dunno.

One thing I definitely liked about this one - no priest character! Whether he's introduced early on and sticks around, or disappears until he's needed like the recent (much worse) Devil Seed, the priest character in these things just makes it harder to forget Friedkin's classic. So I was pleased and even kind of charmed that the movie only really has four people, a group of college kids who go to a morgue in order to conduct a seance. Why? Well, that's kind of novel too - one of them claims to be a medium and another doesn't believe her. So off they go, with the skeptical one betting the "medium" that if she can't summon a spirit, she'll be deemed a fraud and then she has to come to his band's show. I like movies where the characters' goals are pretty weak (I say this as the world's only Pick of Destiny fan - that movie focused on their hopes of winning 500 dollars), so I found this kind of endearing; they weren't after world domination or anything, dude just wanted a hot girl to come to his show.

But this is a modern horror movie, so of course someone has a camera. Fear not, it's not a found footage film, but there are just enough scenes of one of the four walking around with a camera for it to start to get grating. Luckily (spoiler), the one who is most adamant about filming everything is the first to die, and relatively early to boot, so the camera motif is more or less done with after 30 minutes or so. However, while I love an early death, this does result in the rest of the movie feeling rather repetitive, as the two survivors spend the rest of it trying to exorcise the now-possessed friend. Again, this helps shed some of the unavoidable Exorcist deja vu, because that movie built up to its exorcism while this one more or less uses it as the core of its plot, but by the 70 minute mark I had gotten kind of tired of listening to the possessee's "demon" voice taunt the other two characters. And no one else shows up, either - it's the weekend and thus the morgue is closed (is this true? I see the LA City Morgue doesn't have weekend hours, so I assume it's a legit excuse), so there's nothing much to break up the action.

Except, of course, when the possessed guy says something horrible and one or both girls leave the room. For a change, the obligatory strained friendships (again, it's a modern horror movie) actually have a payoff - turns out that the born-again Christian, who keeps pushing her faith on the others, actually had an abortion some time ago, and the father was none other than the possessed one (who is the other girl's ex). So that causes some wrinkles that actually tie into the characters' motivations and such, instead of the usual "Let's just have the Final Girl's day get worse by finding out her boyfriend fucked her best friend" type of bullshit that I'll never understand.

Oh, and it has the best plan for the demon's soul ever (spoilers ahead!). None of that "come into meeeeeeeeee!" nonsense - our heroes plan to transfer the demon to a damn rat that they find running around. And what do you do with a rat that's possessed by a demon? You do like Ozzy might (bat, rat, whatever) and bite its goddamn head head off. I've seen 50 of these movies, and I am pretty sure that's a first. So even if you find yourself getting bored with the repetitive plotting/lack of action, or are opposed to the Catholic faith and thus are sick of being told how you need to have Christ in your life, it's totally worth the wait.

The making of isn't worth navigating the menu to play, however. As with a thousand other DTV movies' behind the scenes pieces, if this is your favorite movie for some reason, fine, but otherwise I couldn't detect any value in watching it. The actors took the roles because they were interested in the levels they'd get to play, everyone got along, etc. It's 22 minutes long, I watched it less than 20 hours ago, and I honestly can't tell you one specific thing about it other than that they blessed the set and everyone filmed their interviews in front of an ugly brick wall. The trailer is also included, as is one for Knock Knock 2, which looks to have zero relation to the original even by Lionsgate standards, since that one was a straight slasher set in New York and this is a found footage haunting movie set in Los Angeles, but whatever. Like there's some die-hard Knock Knock fan out there who will be upset about the change? Indeed, according to my review - I can no longer remember a frame of the film - I liked it and I don't even care.

What say you?


  1. "Indeed, according to my review - I can no longer remember a frame of the film - I liked it and I don't even care." - if I were to see that as a pull quote in a movie trailer, I believe I would camp out weeks in advance.

  2. I have to agree about seeing The Exorcist at an early age and having my mind fucked forever HA! I can remember exactly where I was (visiting relatives in West Virginia) and the fear that movie left me with. I was young then, and to this day there hasn't been a single life experience that has given me anything close to that fear experience. Oddly, movies do not scare me in the least, but I still cannot sit and watch that movie alone in the dark. Just the sight of Linda Blair's made up face is still enough to make me cringe!

  3. What brain dead, uneducated, hack made this garbage?

    Its not just offensive, its a crime against nature.

    There was no actual research done for this movie, its just bs muddled with nonsense and a lot of gobbledygook thrown in and mixed together. Wala, this insult.

    Let's start off with with its beginning wording.

    Wrong. There are more than two kinds of people. Those that believe, those that don't, those that are unsure, and those that know based on experiences.

    Santeria has zero to do with Wicca. So why would any Santerian use wicca terminology, especially gardnerian wicca? They wouldn't and don't.

    That whole perfect love and perfect trust line was ripped straight from the craft. You do not use that ever, especially when using an ouija board. In fact, you don't create a circle at all unless you are creating a circle of protection.

    Now there are 5 Elements to summon, not 4. East does not represent the Element Air, unless the sun referrers to a big burning ball of Air. I don't think it does. East represents Fire and a Red candle is used. South represents Air and a Yellow candle is used. West represents Water and a Blue candle is used. North represents Earth and a Green candle is used, not purple. Center (which was not even summoned) represents Spirit, here is where the purple candle is used. So that "circle" was incomplete to begin with. This is basic Paganism 101 (not the new age hippy bs stuff).

    It can be found if some actual research is done. And no East/Fire and South/Air are not interchangeable.

    Now as for using the ouija, you do a protection spell/ritual first, before use. Its to protect all using or being near the board. If she was actually Santerian like her grandmother taught her, she would've known all of this.

    Demons do not automatically possess a human like that. Even after touching the eye/planchette. They prefer to do other things.

    Oh and you cannot get a Demon to "pass on" or into the next dimension. They already come from a dimension much higher than Earth.

    A Santerian, Pagan, Occultist, any of us would never have to convert to deal with Demons. That is just flat out bs. You can use any ritual that is to expel demons, however that is only if you believe in what you are saying. The hack got right, you must believe in the words that you are saying..

    As for that whole making her a queen thing? Nonsense!

    The whole beating up the person that's possessed. Are you kidding me? That will not do anything. A demon is a thousand times more powerful and stronger than humans.

    This whole movie was one big insult, made by uneducated brain dead hacks. The information was completely incorrect and, badly researched.

    This is not because of other movies I saw, its because I am a Polytheist/Occultist Demonologist/Demonolatress (Non Religious), High Priestess. I have been researching and practicing my entire life, so I know was is accurate and what is a second rate hack job with nonsense thrown together.

    I would love to meet the people that created this movie. For one simple reason. So I could punch them in the face.

    I stand by what I said earlier. Its not just offensive, its a crime against nature.

    1. I agreed with just about everything that you said about the movie being poorly researched and in general having no idea what they were talking about. The people who wrote this obviously didn't research any religion except (maybe) Christianity.
      I also agree that it was complete bullshit that the "Santeria" priestess had to spontaneously convert to Catholicism in order to fight the demon. Everything that I've ever seen or read about exorcisms supports the belief that it's the strength of the faith of the person performing the exorcism vs. the strength of the demon or spirit.
      On the whole, I actually liked the movie--except for the last fourth of it or so, because it made no goddamn sense. I was even willing to overlook all of the obvious flaws in the details and lack of research. The last fourth of the movie pissed me off. If you're going to make a Christian propaganda horror movie at least let me know about it...don't sneak it in on me after I've all ready sat there for an hour and a half. So, all in all I agree with your review.

      I do have one question, and this is simply my own lack of knowledge asking: How does being a Non-Religious High Priestess work? I've never heard of the term. I sort of all ways thought that being a High Priestess implied a religious connection. Is there someplace that I can look up more information?


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