The third short film directed by Chris McInroy, reviewed by us, is the third time in a row that I'll get to sound like a driveling fanboy, heaping barely coherent piles of praise and adoration on the soon to be embarrassed director. Sorry Chris, I really am, but when your shit is consistently this good, you have no one to blame but yourself!
In We Summoned A Demon, we have a plot that's honestly not that dissimilar from Chris' previous film Death Metal, at least, in spirit. Both shorts are about schmucks who misuse the forces of darkness (is it possible to actually misuse the forces of darkness?) for personal gain. In the former, it's to become cool so as to possibly increase their chances with the ladies, while in the later, it's to "riff people to shreds" - so to speak. Regardless the reasoning, the results are the same; evil answers the call and delivers in bloody-spectacular fashion. And let me emphasize this point, I'm talking the kind of over-the-top violence that will elicit reactions like the one below.
Always impressive stuff, and thoroughly satisfying if you're a gore-hound that appreciates the art of practical fx work; suffice to say, you're more than covered in this regard. But, that's just half the story when it comes to McInroy's recent films. While guts and gore are the immediate highlights and crowd-pleasers of these cautionary horror romps, it's the comedy that keeps me personally coming back for more.
Chris McInroy has great comedic timing. While most often this refers to an actor or stand-up comedian's ability to time the delivery of their spoken jokes for maximum effect, here, it is specifically calling to a more visual rhythm. As an example, one scene has both men attempting to gain power over the demon by guessing it's name. This hilarious sequence sees a rapid fire beat of a back-and-forth name guessing, until it ends with this punchline - a vicious swipe of the claw, by the demon, causing the aforementioned gore to punctuate the joke as an effective sight gag. There's another moment at the very end, which too - and not to give anything away - also follows a similar visual beat. Violence as a punchline isn't easy, but it's always pulled off effortlessly here, and that speaks highly to Chris' ability to balance and manipulate these cinematic elements.
Needles to say, the guys' got some real skill; and given the proper budget, will be able to do some absolutely incredible things in this industry (told you I'd sound like a driveling fanboy). Going solely based on the track record so far, we don't expect that it'll take much longer for that to occur. Until then however, we'll have to settle for these brief - albeit stupidly fun - glimpses of independent-filmmaking and horror-comedy genius...
...and then of course, the agonizing wait for more.
We Summoned a Demon is yet another labor of horror-love from Chris McInroy. He’s a favorite of all of us over here at Thirteenth Floor, his work always causing us to regress into our giddy - younger - horror fan selves when he announces a new project. His humor, clear love for the genre, and eye melting practical effects are just a few of the things that keep us coming back for more (not to mention checking in to see if that promised werewolf project ever happens).
We Summoned A Demon follows two dudes who attempt to increase their (non-existent) cool factor through an occult ritual in hopes of impressing a girl. Things go wrong, and they accidentally summon a demon instead. Now, any horror fan could tell you right off the bat, this is a bad idea, but these two (thankfully) get to find out the hard way, and we as fans, get to reap the bloody benefits. Right off the bat, I loved the design of the demon - who, no doubt about it, is definitely the star of the short. His interactions with our knucklehead summoners is hilarious. This 6 minute short is bursting with nostalgic neon lighting that looks like something straight out of Creepshow. Hell, come to think of it, this would fit perfectly in a Creepshow-type universe for the new indie-horror generation; Chris, maybe an anthology film after the werewolf one?
We really can’t recommend this enough, and for horror fans who are lucky to have the opportunity to attend any of the festivals this is playing at, DON'T MISS IT. For those less fortunate who also managed to miss out on the Kickstarter, keep this one on your radar, and know that when you do get the chance to watch it, you'll be having a bloody blast straight out of the depths of hell.