Séance: The Summoning (2011)

‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy …’

Shakespeare knew his stuff. At one time the earth was flat, and if a determined person kept walking far enough into the horizon, they would just plain fall of the edge of the rock. Until, that is, science progressed a little further, and it was proven to be a big old ball, spinning in space.

Mental illness was caused by demons and evil spirits, and headaches were treated with a rather unappealing drill to let all the badness flow right out of your skull (along with a whole lot of your blood one would presume). That is, until, through trial, and error, and experimenting on a lot of unfortunate bodies, dead and alive, doctors stopped explaining the unexplainable with religious rhetoric and began to let science and knowledge be their guides. Saving lives became easier, because lives were lost to further the progression of medicine, and nowadays, it’s a lot less dicey to go to a doctor and put your life into their hands.

My point is, that as humans, we don’t know everything yet. We know less about what is in our own oceans than what is in space. Scientists and explorers discover new species of flora, fauna, mammal, reptile and insect, every single day. The world is ever changing, mutating, and we as a species could not possibly know all there is understand in our own habitat.

The cast of Geordie Shore are real -This is one of the great anomalies of our time, in itself.

We are not all seeing, all powerful and some of us don’t have the sense we were born with, but yet, the things we dismiss as humans is incredible.

The supernatural, the unknown, ESP, aliens, Bigfoot, what happens when we die. Do our souls just evaporate into nothingness when we expire, or is there something else that makes the cruelties of this world make sense?

These are things that we cannot know or prove, and yet, some of us will dismiss the very possibility of the unknown with scorn and derision. We have every one of us experienced, strange events in our lives that can’t be explained away by science. From thinking of a far away friend and having them call you that moment, to thinking you have seen the spirit of a loved one after they have passed; others may not believe or respect your experiences, but if you believe and it felt real to you, why let someone else’s view of the world take that away from you?

I respect scepticism. It’s healthy, and helps you to see the world for what it is, but wouldn’t it be nice, if this wasn’t all there was? By no means believe everything you hear, or even see, but don’t close yourself off from the possibilities either. That’s what makes the world go round, and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you know someone is watching you.

Believe what you want, but don’t be a fool. As long as you aren’t forcing your believes on others, or trying to manipulate their own free will, you can believe in heaven, Valhalla, or the purple people eater if it get’s you through the day.

Séance is the story of a sceptic who gets a lot more proof than he bargains for, when he makes a bet with his ex girlfriend about whether she can summon the dead. Eva is a practising Santeria , who has been raised into the tradition, and along with her Born Again buddy Sarah, and Joey’s best friend Marcus, they break into a morgue and decide to bring up the bodies, as it were. Obviously, it works, and even though Eva gets to prove her point, she isn’t in the mood for rubbing it in anyone’s face, after the experience.

The film started off promisingly, though the writers clearly hadn’t done much research into the Santerian religion, which is an Afro Caribbean/West African belief system, highly influenced by African Yorùbá and ironically for the plot of this movie, Roman Catholicism. The ritual used in the séance was more Western Witchcraft than Santeria, and I thought it was a lazy, and slightly offensive way of lumping in all those ’Non Christian’ religions all together, rather than being true to any sort of fact, or good characterisation.

The acting, effects and general camera work weren’t terrible for a low budget production; I’ve seen worse, and I’ve seen a hell of a lot better, but it was the offensively obvious Christian propaganda that made this one of the worst films I’ve had to sit through in a very long time.

Eva, the Santerian devotee raised in the religion and passionate about her beliefs is basically told that to fight the demons she must convert to Christianity, to stand a chance of fighting evil. Y’know, because, there is only one true way to get into heaven, and to be seen as a good soul (nothing to do with the person she is or the things she has done), for if she puts on the cross and accepts Jesus’ daddy into her heart, then he will forgive her and things will be A OK.

So, she does. Just like that. No, screw you, I know who I am, and this is not the time to up your conversion commission. To be honest, God comes off as a real arsehole in this film, and so does everyone else involved in the thing.

‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live’, dontcha know, according to some blokes who wrote Exodus, thousands of years ago. (The ironic thing is, that the guy who orders the deaths of every witch and psychic in this particular book of bull hockey, ends up going straight to one of the only witches left when he has a problem.)

The Christian agenda oozing from every inch of celluloid really makes for some hard watching. I mean, most possession films involve some biblical hoopla to get the demons to crawl back in their boxes, granted, but they never try to tell you that other belief systems are wrong and preach hell fire to all those non believers out there.

Because that is wrong,
It’s also patronising, insulting and in this case, not particularly well argued.

Don’t watch this film if you are an open minded person with your head screwed on, because yes, this is a horror film, but only because I felt like my soul was trying to be saved against my will for the duration.

This entry was posted in critique, fiction, film and media, ghost story, horror, murder, opinion, pop culture, psychotic killer, supernatural horror, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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