The Invoking (2013)

Plot: For years Samantha has wondered about where she came from. After inheriting a house from the family she never knew, Sam and her three friends take a road trip to inspect the remote property. Once there Sam's past comes back to haunt her.

Starring: Trin Miller, Andi Norris, D'Angelo   Midili, Brandon Anthony, Josh Truax

My Review and Thoughts:

This is a very interesting, odd, strange, mysterious type of film. Three friends agree to go on a trip with Sam where she has just inherited a house from her Aunt. She was adopted as a kid and her real parents side of the family left the house to her. Mark, Caitlin and Roman agree to take the journey with her.

Sam has always wondered where she came from, what her real parents where like. She just didn't want to upset her adopted family so she didn't even tell them where she was going. So the road trip begins and slowly Sam starts to unravel through old memories in her sub-conscience.

This is beautifully shot with amazing scenery. Captured flawless through the lens with its amazing cinematography and photography. It has amazing landscapes, hills, backwoods beauty which Is breathtaking for the eyes.

Once they're they meet Eric, the caretaker who states that Sam's aunt let him stay there. He has the keys and all the answers to show them around. It seems Eric knew Sam when she was a child for they use to be best friends and and play together.

The story starts to unravel as the memories and the tension inside Sam's mind starts to surface. There is a brutal vision, horrible actions as she comes to terms with what her childhood was like, of what the house holds. The secrets, the cover-ups, the lies. Just who is Sam? Who was Sam's family and why was Sam adopted?

This is what you call a slow burn movie, what that means is the movie starts out and builds the characters and story line slowly but surely it adds in tension, suspense, mystery, weirdness, and it creeps down a brutal oddness of someone finding who they are through the sub-conscience of memories. Sam is buried in the past, but the past will come back to haunt her.

As the old saying says, sometimes dead is better or at least some times the memory should die and be forgotten.

This is a drama mixed with some aspects of the horror genera. I think it's more of a characterization of a character study and coming to terms with oneself more than it is a haunting spooky type of horror. It's more about the unraveling of the mind, unraveling of one's memory and past coming to terms with the crumbling surroundings that she discovers.

Slowly Sam starts to see things. Is she seeing what is real? Is what she seeing before her reality or is it all flashbacks of memories starting to spark. Is she waking up as she adventures upon the land of her parents? She sees visions of her friends going crazy, seeing things, memories of her father, memories of the deep dark reality of her fathers persona.

This is a confusing film and one has to scratch their head to comprehend what is happening and even the end result you wonder what the truth is. You have to take the jigsaw puzzle pieces of the movie and put piece by piece together until you get the complete picture. I even questioned myself at the end on what is the complete story. I think I understand it. I think I grasp what the understanding was and what took place.

As in all good honest reviewers you have to pick the negative and positive. There's only really two negatives and that's pretty good because I usually can pin point many negatives in films and so I was happy with only finding two that got under my skin.

The one major would be the very stiff script reading type acting of the whole group, during a group setting. When the group interacts, it's almost like each one of the characters are waiting for the other person's line before they say something. It just lacked in many parts because you could tell they where acting, it didn't flow like it was natural. 

The other negative would have to be the confusion, the total wrap-up of the film. I love the movie from the beginning and middle but the ending was just okay it felt like there needed to be something else there. A half piece of the puzzle was missing, where it might confuse a lot of viewers on what took place, on what was the outcome. 

With all the negative and positive said this is a very wonderful engaging psychological thriller. I felt this movie definitely worked. The country scenery was so beautiful it just added to the outdoors, backwoods landscape. The direction was solidly filmed. I felt the movie flowed perfect in that atmosphere. The story-line, the atmosphere, the acting gave a creepy sense to the viewer anticipating and waiting for the outcome. 

The direction held the viewer in place. Something truly wonderful would have to be the music, the sound effects, the music score, just placed you there, just gave you what it needed to build up the movie for the viewer.

Hands-down the award would have to be given to D'Angelo who played Eric. I felt he made the movie. He held each one of his scenes. His character was flawless. He played the perfect groundskeeper with standoffish reality. He had that who is he wonder? What does he want? What is he hiding? What kind of spooky creepy man is this hidden in the shadows? Why does he appear out of nowhere? He tends to always be there when something tends to happen. 

D'Angelo holds the movie perfectly. He is a complex character built for the viewer and I think his acting performance is award worthy. The direction of his character, the writing of his character gave this movie a darker sense which I loved.

Another plus is the buildup of the characters. That's why I love slow-burn movies, because they tend to build up the characters and when something happens you actually feel sorry for them. This movie does that. It builds up each character and I think that is it's strong point.

So with all the negative and positive said I recommend this movie. I think The Invoking is a perfect example in the psychological thriller of what the hell is happening or what the hell was the outcome. Strong direction, so so acting at times, brilliant cinematography, awesome music, amazing acting by D'Angelo, a wonderfully written script in building the characters, atmosphere and over all conclusion.

This movie engaged the viewer. Held the viewer and gave them a story of a female slowly losing her mind or coming to terms with who she was and what her past was. Her buried secrets come back, come back to haunt her and the viewer as you journey down the darkened path of The Invoking.