Review: ‘THE SUMMONED’ deals in the devil’s due diligence.


Director Mark Meir and writer Yuri Baranovsky bring us a story of two high-profile couples invited to spend the weekend with a revolutionary therapist named Dr. Frost. But, a free ticket to an exclusive retreat sounds too good to be true. Nothing in life comes without a cost. 

The cast is super solid, but two performances, in particular, must be lauded. Angela Gulner plays Tara with a cliché Hollywood attitude that will grate on your nerves as you applaud her. But that’s only surface-level stuff. Gulner has the goods to headline a feature all her own. Think Sherie Zombie energy. Her confidence makes you a believer. 

J. Quinton Johnson plays Elijah with skepticism and a genuinely grounded sense of self. Johnson owns this role. He gets the chance to show off his singing voice, and we are eternally grateful recipients. 

The script fills you with anxiety from the very beginning. It is easy to see things aren’t going to be the easy breezy weekend anyone expected. There’s unmissable Get OutReady Or Not meets Faustian legend goodness. The editing made me suspicious of everyone and everything. The Summoned is a twisted psychological mindfuck of morality and mayhem. 

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Directed by Meir with a script by Jewish-Ukrainian writer Yuri Baranovsky, THE SUMMONED’s powerful cast features Johnson (Hamilton on Broadway, AMC’s The Son), Emma Fitzpatrick (THE SOCIAL NETWORK), Salvador Chacon (FX’s Mayans M.C.), Angela Gulner (Netflix’s GLOW), and Freddy Douglas (Hallmark’s The Odyssey). A Wicked Myth and Happy Little Guillotine Studios co-production, the picture is Produced by Baranovsky, Meir, Gulner, Justin Mark Morrison, and Dashiell Reinhardt.

 About XYZ Films
XYZ Films is an independent studio whose mission is to empower visionary storytellers from every corner of the planet. XYZ was founded in 2008 by Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer, and Aram Tertzakian and has expanded in recent years into documentary, talent management, and distribution. Some of the company’s classic titles include THE RAID franchise, 2017 Sundance winner I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE, and Panos Cosmatos’ psychedelic revenge thriller MANDY.

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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