Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Movie Review: Invoked

Runtime: 85 minutes
Release Date: September 5, 2016
Rating: NR?
Director: Humberto Rosa and Thairon Mendes

I'll be upfront about my review on this one. I don't know how much I can write because it didn't hold my attention and I wound up playing a game on my phone for most of it.

Invoked opens with a series of title cards to tell us that everything we see actually happened. A group of young people visiting an island in Ireland mysteriously went missing, but they just so happened to have cameras with them to capture everything that happened. It's up to us to decide the fate of the group and to determine what actually happened to them.

If you're looking for more of a synopsis, you need to look elsewhere. That it almost the only thing I know about the movie because it didn't take long after those title cards to lose my interest. We meet a bunch of characters who are the stereotypical people you see in horror movies like the couple who just love each other so much, the prankster who loves playing jokes, and the guy who comes across as a total douche canoe. They go to the island, start playing games with each other, and weird stuff starts happening.

Unfortunately, it takes way, way, way too much time to get going. I felt like I spent more time listening to the characters bicker and argue or talk about random shit before anything happened. I tried really hard to pay attention, but it felt like there was nothing to pay attention too. When I watch a horror movie, I expect the horror to start early on. This one left me wondering if it was a horror movie or a movie about some friends on vacation.

One of the other reviews I read said that the action didn't start until 45 minutes in, which seems about right. That means that over half of the movie has nothing to do with moving the story forward. We get scenes of the characters on a boat, in a vehicle, them talking about what they'll do on the trip, them reminiscing about stuff that happened in the past, and of course, them having sex. Nothing says horrifying like two young people having the sex!

It doesn't help that this is the type of found footage movie I dislike. I understand that there is a big difference between found footage films that look realistic and those that look too slick. Hell, I've called out films for looking too produced, but this one is possibly a little too realistic. The scenes are so dark and so gritty that it looks like they shot on cameras from the 1980s. Even my cell phone camera could shoot brighter footage than this film has. That makes it hard to see what's happening, especially when characters start screaming and running away, which makes the film even darker and more jumpy.

Though I have a fondness for bad horror films and a special place in my heart for low budget flicks, Invoked wasn't my cup of tea. If you make a horror movie with a run time of 90 minutes or less, you shouldn't spend half of the movie or longer just getting to the horror elements!

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