The Summoner – short, UK, 2017

‘Help is on the way’

The Summoner is a 2017 British horror short film written and directed by James Secker and produced by Rob Yeomans. It stars Adam McNab, Mhairi Calvey, Alexandra Hansler, Kate Marie Davies and Mike Carr.

It is 1980-something, and a rather scruffy, deep throated British man, receives a curt phone request to come clean a house. Apparently, the neighbourhood has been harboring haunted spirits or… demons? That part is unclear. But The Summoner (Adam McNab) is just doing his job. An ordinary day in his ghostbusting daily routine.

The most obvious influence in this horror short is, well… Ghostbusters. For a brief moment, I figured it was just the effects: kitschy pink lasers that will obliterate the ghosts, night vision goggles that allow the wearer to see neon green figures lurking around, and the minimal anti-ghost gear that he can afford in order to battle these awfully terrorizing ghouls (note major sarcasm here).

Now for my favourite piece. The terrible clichés. “Are we going to do this the easy way? Or are we going to do this the hard way?” Ummm, I choose Easy! Easy of course meaning, this is a 20 minutes long short – see the oxymoron there? The actual demons are more like an ode to George A. Romero, and a timely reference, bearing in mind The King of the Zombies unfortunate passing.

I will mention the brief love story because it was just that… brief. The Summoner misses his deceased wife. Very much. And thankfully, he can still see her spirit through those magical goggles of his. But that was the only magical part of this ridiculousness. I do appreciate the homage to the rotary phone though! Ah, memories.

Meredith Brown, HORRORPEDIA

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