The Summoner (2017)
Film Review by Meredith Brown
Written and Directed by James Secker
Produced by Rob Yeomans
Starring Adam McNab, Mhairi Calvey, Alexandra Hansler, Kate Marie Davies, Mike Carr
I usually do not review shorts, but will make an exception as I am having a tough time deciding if I found THE SUMMONER amusing, or absolute schlock.
It is 1980-something, and a rather scruffy, deep throated British man, receives a curt phone request to come clean a house. Apparently, the UK neighborhood has been harboring haunted spirits or…demons? That part is unclear. But Adam McNah (The Summoner) is just doing his job. An ordinary day in his ghost busting daily routine.
The most obvious influence in this horror short is, well…GHOSTBUSTERS. For a brief moment, I figured it was just the effects: Kitschy pink lasers that will obliterate the ghosts, night vision goggles that allow the wearer to see neon green figures lurking around, and the minimal anti-ghost gear that he can afford in order to battle these awfully terrorizing ghouls. (Enter major sarcasm here.)
Now for my favorite piece. The terrible clichés. “Are we going to do this the easy way? Or are we going to do this the hard way?” Ummm, I choose EASY!
Easy of course meaning, this is a 20 min long short – see the oxymoron there? The actual demons are more like an ode to Romero, and wow! What timing, seeing his recent passing.
I will mention the brief love story, because it was just that…brief. THE SUMMONER misses his deceased wife. Very much. And thankfully, he can still see her spirit through those magical goggles of his.
But that was the only magical part of this ridiculousness.
I do appreciate the homage to the rotary phone though! Ah, memories!