One of the films being discussed among the horror community this month is the latest film from the Image Entertainment line The Invoking. When a film is being heralded as “a must see” by an icon brand like Fangoria it’s hard not anticipate what could be a monumental film. Unfortunately for this movie watcher I felt slighted and flim flammed by what became another run of the mill supernatural horror. While I will give a nod to the potential The Invoking posses I do feel this will get lost among many films of the same light.
The story involves Sam (Trin Miller) who has inherited a house from an aunt she never knew. To ease her into the situation she has brought along three friends eager to explore this new find. Once they arrive and meet the caretaker Eric (D'Angelo Midili) things start to turn for the worse as Sam is being haunted by something that feels familiar but unknown.
Look I get it. There was no CG or anything over the top that allowed this film to purge into normal views we often fight with films like these. I was just very disappointed in the acting plot execution and even the house in general. For a film that was deemed “creepy” that seemed to be the key element missing. I think the original title of Sader Ridge would have worked slightly better mainly due to the fact nothing was really invoked. Sam is a disturbed person with memories so suppressed that too much time passes in the film before we truly see it’s ultimate goal. I will say D’Angelo Midili is the stand out in the film but the rest of the cast was subpar. Now before you start indie film bashing me understand I watch more indie horror than anything these days but that does not mean I can’t call a spade a spade.
What really hurts The Invoking is the film could have just involved Sam and Eric. I thought the rest of the cast was useless mainly because they were unaware of what was really going on. It just felt so one sided that it made the film hard to watch at times. If not for the performance of D’Angelo it would have lost me completely. The Invoking feels like a thriller more than a horror film but don’t think for a second there isn’t a nice amount of bloodshed. More than anything I hoped to be entertained by the film and as you can tell from the review clearly I was not.
I will say The Invoking has an audience. It’s even possible that this will appeal to a mainstream crowd as well. With the scare factor being low it does allow for you to invest in the mystery behind the property and Eric. For some it will be hard not call foul as many times it felt as if the film could have been a short. Not that there was any reaching to extend the film just that when it ends it’s not very climatic. There are many things that could have really worked in this film but they were not capitalized on. I’m angered when I write reviews like this because I’m truly not trying to persuade to pass on this film. It’s just hard to contain certain judgements when I feel I have been set up for something great but i’m disappointed. This film works as a very good religious psychological thriller. For a supernatural horror not so much. As usual i’m curious to your thoughts on seeing The Invoking so look for this when it hits the at home movie circuit later this month.
Ther Invoking is directed by Jeremy Berg and stars Trin Miller, Brandon Anthony, Josh Truax, Andi Norris and D'Angelo Midili. It will be available on DVD, digital download and on demand February 18th. The Invoking is being distributed courtesy of Image Entertainment.