Jeremy Berg’s “The Invoking” tells the story of a young woman out to discover a past she never knew existed when a house is left to her by family she never knew was there. Samantha Harris (Trin Miller) and three of her friends take a trip to Sader Ridge to investigate the property, in the care of someone from Sam’s past. “The Invoking” stars Andi Norris, Brandon Anthony, Trin Miller, Carson Holden, D'Angelo Midili, and Josh Truax.
The story in “The Invoking” is a pretty cool, classic adventure turned nightmare and that works for the first half of the film. The characters are emotive and portray some pretty convincing roles. There is some lag when the story arch hits the midway point, and instead of rushing into a thrilling overload of horror and melodrama, things fall a bit flat. The vision goes from one of almost paranormal chills to one that seems patch-worked between missing intent and scattered dramatics. I felt that something got lost in the translation toward the last act of the story. The first part created a great character building connection between me and the characters, the second act created an atmosphere of haunting unease but the last act seemed lost or held back. Plus there is absolutely nothing paranormal, supernatural or invoking in the story save the lead character’s, Sam’s, recovered memories of a sketchy past. I felt the marketing for this film is very misleading and that is really off-putting.
The special effects and horror elements in this film are almost non-existent. I am not sure if that was intentional or a budget crunching thing but I really expected more from “The Invoking” and was left with a major feeling of disappointment. The few horror moments in the film are lightly braised upon with standard effects tricks that work but considering there were so few moments and most of the film is melodrama I feel Lifetime Movie Network is more this film’s audience. The ending was a total miss and made very little since. The meat of the mystery caretaker and Sam’s relationship is almost missing from the story. The moments touched upon are not enough to justify how this film ends. So really most of the film is a fail considering the pay-off, after such a suspense build-up, is really not worth the time invested. I say skip “The Invoking”.