14th May2014

‘The Invoking’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Trin Miller, D’Angelo Midlili, Brandon Anthony, Carson Holden, Andi Norris, Rafael Siegel, Jacob Tommila, Josh Truax | Written by Jeremy Berg, Matt Medisch, John Portanova | Directed by Jeremy Berg


If anything can really mess with your head it’s family.  In horror movies this is a trope used a lot, the return to the family home to find the truth from the past, which is always a good place to start for a film.  An example of a film that uses this is The Invoking.

When Samantha (Trin Miller) and a few of her friends travel to her home town Sader Ridge to inspect a property she’s inherited it’s not long before she starts to experience violent visions within the house.  Trying to discover the truth about her past the answers may come from Eric (D’Angelo Midlili) the creepy caretaker, though he may be part of the problems that are haunting her.

For the most part The Invoking is a film full of good ideas, even though often it misses the mark.  As a horror it lacks the punch and effectiveness that we expect from the genre, but as a thriller it manages to find its niche.  The fact is The Invoking is more about the past rather than the present, and the ghosts that are left behind.  The important people in the tale are Samantha and Eric, and Samantha’s parents that haunt her visions.  The rest of the cast are vehicles in which to push the plot along, and in terms of being a part of a horror film they are also the cannon fodder for the violence that takes place.

When we look at stories that focus on the past, there has to be a mystery and this is what works with The Invoking.  We constantly see shadows of the past replayed through the inhabitants of the house, which push Samantha closer to insanity as her friends she should trust are showing aggression and violence, then suddenly returning to their present selves, no wonder she is messed up.  As the audience though, we want to see just what happened to the inhabitants of the house, as well as find out just who Eric is.

D’Angelo Midlili plays Eric as the typical creepy character that we know is probably going to be the bad guy, but still manages to keep his true intentions ambiguous.  The fact that we find out Eric grew up with Samantha who can’t even remember him is interesting because this should mean that he knows more about her early life than she does.  It’s a shame that this idea doesn’t feel played out enough but this does add to the mystery around both characters, especially when we see Samantha’s visions looking back at her family life.  The ending we are provided with is ambiguous and open-ended, and in truth I don’t think we are meant to know the full truth of these characters, we just have to make our own mind up.

The Invoking is a flawed film, but if you can look past its flaws and look to what it does well then the story tends to shine out and actually has some impact.  I’m not sure just how much of a horror film this is really, even if it features the supernatural, it’s real strength is in being more of a thriller than trying to scare the audience.

The Invoking is out now on DVD.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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