The Summoned – Frightfest Movie Review
Director: Mark Meir
Writer: Yuri Baranovsky (Screenplay)
- J. Quinton Johnson (We Can be Heroes)
- Emma Fitzpatrick (The Social Network)
- Angela Gulner (Take Back the Night)
- Salvador Chacon (Mayans M.C.)
- Frederick Stuart
Plot: Two high-profile couples are forced to examine the cost of success when they’re invited to an exclusive self-help retreat with a sinister side.
Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Summoned starts when the two couples, Elijah (Johnson) and Joplyn (Fitzpatrick) and Tara (Gulner) and Joe (Chacon) head to an exclusive self-help retreat. Dr Frost (Stuart) is known for having unusual methods and it isn’t long before they start coming out.
Elijah starts suffering nightmares, as he continues to feel out of place here. The other three have celebrity status and his insecurities start to come through.
Verdict on The Summoned
Elijah has agreed to head to the self-help retreat, he is joined by his musician girlfriend. He wants to settle down, get married and have a family, but Joplyn isn’t ready for that. Elijah shows his discomfort around the celebrities at the retreat, as he starts seeing his relationship unravel.
Joplyn is Elijah’s girlfriend and famous singer, she knows the rest of the people at the retreat. She doesn’t want to settle down as he does and over the course of the weekend, she reveals more about why.
Tara and Joe are the other couple on the retreat, an actress and author with great success. They are looking to get divorced and are often at each other’s throats over the course of the weekend.
J. Quinton Johnson in the leading role is great, while the story goes in a different direction. It is easy to see the similarities of feeling out of place that Daniel Kaluuya did in ‘Get Out’.
Emma Fitzpatrick, Angela Gulner and Salvador Chacon are great in the supporting roles, each star gets to bring something different to the table as the story unfolds.
The story follows a pair of couples that head to a self-help retreat, only for it not to be everything it seems for one of the newest members of the retreat.
This story gets to dive into the idea that people will need help. The celebrity status people have would lead to them needing to be away from the world. It is easy to compare this to a more serious version of ‘Ready or Not’. Where the newest member of the retreat needs to understand what the others want from him.
The way everything plays out is kept smooth, as we see how Elijah must adapt to his surroundings. With the sinister side of the story coming through with his actions.
The Summoned is a horror thriller that uses the remote self-help retreat as the key location. It shows that there is no easy escape and any problems between the couples are here to be addressed and not just run from. The traditional nightmare sequences work well to make Elijah feel uncomfortable throughout his time there. In the horror side of the film, it is more about why they are at the retreat, with clever wordplay leading into what is happening.
Final Thoughts – The Summoned is an unsettling getaway for couples.