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July 18, 2014

Movie Review: The Invoking (2013)

Reviewed By: Jimmy D.

When did horror have to be so dramatic and over-written to be effective? The Invoking is that film that I feel people who love horror, and I mean truly love horror will not get. This film is for those Roger Ebert types or people who are in horror to make a paycheck and have no care or passion about the genre or what they recommend to the people who follow them. The Invoking is a 88 minute film that uses every cliché we have seen in indie films in the last two decades. I am not going to say the film is a total waste, it does have its moments that are quite effective, but I will say what you have to endure to get to those moments is unfair. Unfair especially if you see the cover and the quotes and think this film is going to deliver a satisfying horror experience. The plot is simple enough; you have Sam who along with three of her friends go back to the house she grew up in. When they arrive there, they meet a guy who has been taking care of the house who lives a little past it. This film goes into a realm of what is real or unreal, when Sam starts to see visions and her friends acting odd. We learn as the film goes on that Sam's parents who once lived there were not kind to her, it is like she is watching her friends reenact memories from her childhood.

The Invoking is a film that is very script oriented, and the characters seem to have no problem with talking and rambling on and on. The problem I had was that the characters seemed so one dimensional that when the lines of reality and fantasy get blurred, they really fail at making it more effective. This film requires its audience to have patience, as do most indie small films these days. They want to deliver this story to get you guys to believe, then give you very little scare but when they give you one, they expect you to overreact to it. I will say one thing writer/director Berg does very well is create atmosphere. There is a shot at the half hour mark or so when the gang is camping with a fire and they search for one of them and think they see him. It is that moment that every fear of childhood will go through the viewer. The ending shot of the film was a cheap way of ending it and really answered no questions that the film presented us with.

The state of horror these days and times is that less is more. Everyone wants to be a critic and no one wants to be entertained. They want long drawn out stories that lead nowhere or a camcorder following a bunch of people, and they are sold on it. I am the horror fan who wants fear, I want to be scared and I want a film to deliver on what it promises. It had a few moments that I felt been okay, but overall this film is just a long drawn out sad example of where horror is leaning towards.

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