What the Hell Were They Thinking?!

It’s now abundantly clear that Satan’s favorite target is drunk and horny college kids.

The SummoningCast of Characters:
Casey – Shanna McLaughlin
Cam – Jordan Wall
Jared – Brian C. Chenworth
Shelley – Amy LoCicero
Gisele – Elaine “Lanie” Hoxie
Drew – Flavio Milicchio
The Summoner – John Kyle
Harold – J. LaRose

Director – Curtis Schultz
Screenplay – Curtis Schultz
Producer – Wesley Allen, Quinton Macari & Matt Horn
Not Rated

The Summoning Featured 2In Longwood, Florida (believe it or not, that is the city’s actual name), a group of college kids – Jared (Brian C. Chenworth), Drew (Flavio Milicchio), Shelley (Amy LoCicero), Casey (Shanna McLaughlin), Gisele (Elaine “Lanie” Hoxie) and Cam (Jordan Wall) – are on their way to a bitchin’ barn party, and not just any barn party, but an unforgettable barn party… and not just any unforgettable barn party but the “party of the century”… and not just any unforgettable barn party of the century, but the “BARN PARTY TO END ALL BARN PARTIES”.

Hmm… World War I didn’t quite end all wars; in fact, we were all fortunate enough to get a sequel, so I’d set the expectations a little lower.

Being that the barn party to end all barn parties is located out in Bumfuck, Florida – and why wouldn’t it be – the hot, horny and ready to party sextet get lost thanks to designated driver Drew, who insists on taking a shortcut, even though he has know idea where he’s at, where he’s going, what shortcut he’s taking… ’cause he’s – well, ’cause he’s a moron who clearly has never heard of GPS.

Not that he’d know how to use it.

So the six are now lost, and that’s when things start to get strange. There are no signs of life, no cell phone signal whatsoever, mutilated animals, Satanic symbols, corpses, and then things taken an even more terrifying turn for the worse when they realize they’re being hunted by monstrous, black hooded people seeking a sacrifice for their ritual to end all rituals

Oh – duh. They’re not lost. They wound up in Bithlo, that’s all. Just hop on Colonial and book it the hell on out of there. Watch out for any sudden gunfire.

The Summoning Featured 3The Summoning is one of those special straight-to-DVD efforts that you might stumble upon somewhere either at the bottom of the 2 for $1 rental section at Family Video, or page 32 of Google search ’cause there are at least a thousand other movies with the exact same name, all filmed within 2-3 years of each other. Filmed in Orlando, Sanford and Winter Park, Florida (the former two being my birthplace and first hometowns… and thank you God for that shared connection), on a budget of $200,000 (higher than the budgets of Clerks, The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity combined, with another $105,000 left to spare), this cheaper, more derivative slasher knockoff of other cheap, derivate slasher knockoffs offers no thrills or genuine scares, and the only suspense it’s able to generate is the mystery viewers will be left with wondering where the hell all that production budget went to.

My guess is burned away in the same poorly CGI’d fires of hell the Satanists summoned at the film’s climax.

So with nothing to offer other than mundane sex talk, ho-hum, lifeless villains and character decisions too dumb for even dumb characters to consider, there must be nothing to gain from this film. Well, think again, readers!

10 Lessons Learned

1) The budget for Longwood, FL local news appears to be twenty bucks.

2) Forget spring break in Panama City, Daytona, St. Pete and Miami. Barn parties to end all barn parties in the middle of nowhere are really where it’s at in the Sunshine State.

3) Hicks are known for one thing – incest.

4) Correction: Hicks are known for two things – incest… and unforgettable barn parties.

5) When you finally have a clear shot of the enemy that is attacking the big-titted blonde whose pants you’ve been trying so hard to get into all night, it’s best to just throw the gun into the trees.

6) Gators are the real crazy ones to worry about in Florida.

7) Ted Bundy, the electric chair, Aaron Hernandez, Jameis Winston’s rape urges, O. J. Simpson, sinkholes, that punk-ass dick at daycare that’d steal my pizza squares all. the. fucking. time, an untreated bite from an eastern diamondback rattlesnake, and the Miami drug cartel – what are things in Florida that are crazier than alligators, Alex?

8) Yelling loud enough to be heard by both your friends and the psychotic, machete-wielding Satanists tracking you down is the best way to get out of a jam.

9) When all else fails, you and your friends have been either taken captive or murdered, and it looks like all hope is lost, just yell at the Satanists, “All right! Take it easy!” They’ll reciprocate immediately.

10) If the writer put as much effort into this script as his six characters put into an unfathomable amount of prep for a barn party, we may have gotten a more competent film.

The Usual Suspects:

The Summoning Featured Jared1) Jared – The Jock

  • Fred Durst is his life hero and role model.
  • Thinks the Bay of Pigs incident had something to do with bacon.
  • Carries a small knife, along with a flimsy, bull shit paper-route excuse for carrying it, to use against any dangerous animals he and his friends may come in contact with in the woods… I have just a hunch that animals will be the least of your worries, but between the animals and cannibalistic Satan worshipers, at least the rattlesnakes give you a warning first.
  • May not know where he’s “going”, but he knows where he’s “heading”.
  • If that last one doesn’t make much sense, that’s ’cause he’s just as fucking stupid as he looks.

The Summoning Featured Shelley2) Shelley – The Slut

  • Mistakes barn party attire for street-walker attire.
  • “Wait, I’m coming.” – I bet you are.
  • Thinks Russian Satanists are crazy.
  • Sees a necklace, with no other physical evidence, and immediately assumes the worst case scenario.
  • Those Satan worshipers were doing all this for you, you ungrateful little cunt!

The Summoning Featured Casey3) Casey – The Sluttier

  • Has humongous tits
  • Shows an immense worry for all the woodland creatures that could possibly be injured by the glass beer bottle Drew drunkenly shattered on the ground… Needless worry, though, since those animals are already sliced open and hanging up on the trees directly above them.
  • Did I mention she has humongous tits?
  • Do we really give a fuck about anything else?

The Summoning Featured Drew4) Drew – The Clown

  • Can be distracted away from laser tag with the promise of unforgettable barn parties and girls with really big tits.
  • Remembers things by landmarks not roads.
  • MapQuest and Google Maps are his worst fears.
  • Has a Maglite, a really big one (I’m guessing this is what passes as subtext), to serve as the perfectly useless complement to Jared’s tiny knife.
  • Hates spiders… and dieting.

The Summoning Featured Cam6) Cam – The Whipping Boy

  • Knows a little about cars… Hey! He said a little.
  • Either sometimes doesn’t think, or thinks only about sex.
  • Only gets 15 minutes and not “some hour or anything” when his girlfriend’s not in the mood.
  • Prime example of white people problems.
  • Hates getting cock-blocked by Satanists.

The Summoning Featured Gisele5) Gisele – The Sluttiest

  • Can’t remember where she bought her necklace.
  • Stay away from her man.
  • Places the sin of knowing even just a little bit about cars on par with cheating on her.
  • Also hates spiders… and pretty much everything and everyone else.
  • Likes to carry her boyfriend Cam’s balls in the same purse she probably keeps the rest of the shit she hasn’t the slightest clue where she bought it all from in.
  • More than just a wet blanket, she’s the Niagara Falls of wet blankets.
  • Looks like a librarian with glasses… acts like a bitch with or without them.
  • May not be the first to die, but I’ll be damned if fingers all across America aren’t crossed that she is.

The Summoning Featured Harold7) Harold – The Third-Act Good Samaritan (i.e., he’s gonna die)

  • Shit! He’s got a gun!!
  • Doesn’t like no-good, barn party-seeking youngsters starting fires in his forest.
  • Just doesn’t like going around shooting people.
  • Wouldn’t be able to spot a red flag even if it was unfurled directly in front of his face inside a white room, which explains how a group of heinous Satanists have been able to get away with sacrificing anything that moves in his woods for God knows how long.
  • Has a gun, yet will still wind up losing to a sharpened stick. In this case, it is okay to bring a knife to a gun fight when you have the power of Satan on your side.
  • Film crew couldn’t find an expendable black guy, but he’s Indian, so… close enough.

The Summoning Featured Satanists8) Satanists

  • Shop at hot topic, with contacts from Spencer’s Gifts.
  • Their fashion inspiration is Treyvon Martin.
  • Move at the speed of annoyingly choppy, sped-up frame rate (unsure of the mph equivalent, but it’s probably 66.6 mph – haha… get it… I’m so clever).
  • On a lighter note, they always end their violent, cannibalistic black masses in an orgy.
  • Just a bunch of queers that don’t have anything better to do.
  • Possessed by the god of auto-tune and a half-assed attempt at After Effects.
  • Walk straight as an arrow; run like Mighty Joe Young with spina bifida.
  • Know how to make a barn party really unforgettable.

On the plus side, at least the audio is clear and the video is in focus… On the downside, that means the cheap effects and poor acting come in crystal clear, and you’ll be able to hear every word that forms every bad line of dialogue. And, unfortunately, there is a loooooooot of dialogue. They just talk and talk and talk, and talk some more, and good Lord, the Satanists still haven’t shown up yet. It’s like a slasher film where nothing happens – you know, like a badly written, slasher film version of Seinfeld.

“Bow-ba-dum-bum-bing-bow!”

The Summoning Seinfeld 1George: “So, Jerry… I hear you and Casey got together last night.”

Jerry: “Yeah, we went out to dinner, and then made out during both Schindler’s List and 12 Years a Slave. It was alright.”

George: “Alright? Jerry, this is Casey we’re talking about. Isn’t she the one with the big – you know, the big gazongas?”

Jerry: “She’d be the one.”

George: “So the stories are true? She’s got the gazongas?”

Jerry: “She’s got the gazongas, George.”

George: “You sure they’re not fake?”

Jerry: “I’m not sure. I’m working my way up to it.”

George: “Seems like a deal breaker if they are, Jerry.”

Jerry: “Oh, it’s a deal breaker.”

Elaine: “Oh, Jerry, what’s the big deal! You’ve dated women with nose jobs before. How’s this any different?”

Jerry: “Elaine, men all throughout history have never once aspired to touch the nose, squeeze the nose or risk all dignity in an effort to look up the nostril.”

(Laugh track)

(Audience cheers as Kramer skitters into Jerry’s apartment)

Kramer: “Okay, everybody, who wants to have some fun!”

The Summoning Seinfeld 2Jerry: “I wanna have some fun.”

George: “Sure, I’m up for it.”

Elaine: “This isn’t another contest, is it?”

Kramer: “Oh, c’mon now, are you just saying you wanna have fun… or do you REEEEEEEEAAAALLLLY wanna have some FUN!!!!!!!!”

Jerry: “I really wanna have some fun!”

George: “Eh – I’m indifferent.”

The Summoning Seinfeld 3Kramer: “Well, guess what? I just got word from my friend Bob Sacamano, and he’s throwing a barn party tonight. It’s gonna be unforgettable, boys.”

Jerry: “I don’t know, Kramer. A barn party?”

Kramer: “Ohhh, no, Jerry. You don’t understand. This isn’t just any barn party we’re talking about here! This promises to be the BARN PARTY TO END ALL – (squeal) – BARN PARTIES!!!!

(Laugh track)

Jerry: “Well, is Gisele gonna be there?”

Kramer: “Yeah, so?”

Jerry: “So? Kramer, she’s a wet blanket at every party. Remember Tim Whatley’s Jewish conversion celebration last year? She totally wet the blanket.”

Elaine: “Really? She wet the blanket?”

Jerry: “Like an out of control burst pipe!”

Elaine: “You can’t wet the blanket!”

Jerry: “Well, she wet the blanket!”

George: “So you’re saying she’s a blanket wetter?”

Jerry: “I’m saying she’s a blanket wetter!”

(Laugh track)

The Summoning Seinfeld 4Kramer: “Ahhhh – I’ve heard enough! While you three lament all day and night over the presence of one women, I’ll be out having the time of my life, and with guess who? The lovely Casey. Yep, the one with the c-c-c-c-c-cr-cr-crazy gazongas! So come midnight, when she’s looking for someone warm and cuddly to kiss, I guess you, Jerry, will be caught between the moon and New York City.”

And then four seasons later, the Satanists finally show up. It feels kinda like that.

Judgment: The greatest crime committed by The Summoning isn’t its lack of originality. It is its refusal to elevate said lack of originality with any style or tension, instead settling for dumb characters, cheap production value, and far too much dopey dialogue that only serves as pointless filler instead of engaging banter. Of course, dumb characters are hardly anything new in horror films, even in good, sometimes great horror films, but don’t give them enough air in their heads to rival a hot air balloon fleet.

I rest my case.

Sentence: Lifelong incarceration in the barn party to end all barn parties – wait, don’t get too excited… run by the Amish. Good luck finding a sizable, plain fabric dress suitable for Casey’s bust.

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