Monday, October 6, 2014

The Invoking – Same old, same old

Runtime: 82 minutes
Release Date: March 16, 2013
Rating: NR
Director: Jeremy Berg

The Invoking, also released under the name Sader Ridge, relies on a fairly typical horror movie premise. A girl inherits a house from a family member she doesn't know and takes her friends to check out the house before she decides what to do with it. While a lot of horror movies take this idea and stick with it, The Invoking has a slight twist.

Sam is a college student who has few memories of her early life. She was only five when she was adopted by another family and spent the rest of her life raised by those people. A lawyer called her out of the blue to tell her that her aunt passed away and left Sam her former home. Her ex-boyfriend Mark, best friend Caitlin and friend Roman, who has a crush on Caitlin, all agree to go with her to check out the house.

Once they get there, they find the caretaker Eric waiting for them. He's a reasonably attractive man and a former military vet coming home after fighting overseas in Afghanistan. Eric is initially only there to unlock the gate and let them into the home, but he then gets a little weird. Caitlin, who seems completely oblivious to Roman's feelings, does some hard core flirting with him, but he makes it clear that he has no interest in her.

The first few days go fine, but then Sam starts seeing weird things. Caitlin and Mark do some minor flirting in the barn and do some more major flirting. Sam thinks she sees him attacking her friend and hits him in the back with a block of wood. She then reveals that he once did a bad, bad thing to a guy who once did a bad, bad thing to her. Mark claims that he would never hurt her and that he would never lay a finger on either of the girls.

Sam tries to get over what happened, but she keeps seeing strange things. She keeps thinking that she sees a man shouting at her and beating another woman. Oddly enough, the man she keeps seeing looks suspiciously like Mark. Eric then reveals that the two of them knew each other as kids. Though she has no memories of him at all, he claims that they were once inseparable. When Eric starts encouraging her to tell him about what she sees and that those things are real, Sam doesn't know what to think.

There came a point while watching The Invoking that my roommate looked at me and another friend sitting on the couch and said, "I have no idea what is going on in this movie." As he did a little homework for a college class, he had an excuse. I have no excuse. I watched the entire movie from start to finish without taking my eyes off the screen, except when opening a pack of gummy bears, and I still have no clue what happened.

This movie had the type of ending where you want to pause and rewind the movie just to go back a few scenes and see if you can figure out what happened. Was Eric some crazy serial killer with an unhealthy and unexplained connection to Sam? Were they really friends as kids? What the heck did Mark do to some random guy that ended with him making up for it? What did he do that was so bad that the two of them stopped talking? Why would her best friend keep making eyes at her ex-boyfriend? These were just a few of the unanswered questions that I had at the end of this one.

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