Directed by James Secker
I don’t think it will be controversial to say that James Secker has an appreciation for ‘80s cinema because his film The Summoner oozes so much of an ‘80s aesthetic that you can practically feel it dripping from the screen.
Adam McNab stars as the nameless Summoner, a man tasked with removing unwanted supernatural entities from people’s homes. As a result of losing the love of his life some years earlier, The Summoner (as he will be referred to from here on) appears to be one of the most hardened and bitter people you could ever dream of meeting. So he’s not exactly the most popular guy in town, even though he clearly performs a necessary public service. The twenty-minute film follows a typical day in The Summoner’s life, which involves him entering a possessed home, doing battle with the spirits within, and then heading on his way.
So he may be a man of few words, but when The Summoner gets down to business, you’d better not get in his way. McNab, who is still a relative newcomer, is utterly convincing in the role of the supernatural evictor, painting a portrait of a man trying to hide his tragic past behind his tough exterior. Armed with a protective vest and a thick Northern accent, McNab seems perfectly suited to playing complicated tough guys, so we intend to watch his career with great interest.
Looking like it was shot on VHS whilst at the same time packing visual effects approaching Hollywood levels, The Summoner at times felt like it consisted of a mix of different styles and techniques, which were all blended together to create a loving ode to ’80s cinema. Twenty minutes is also pretty long for a short, but thankfully, it appears that Secker and his cast and crew believed strongly enough in their premise to allow the film to unfold over its extended runtime without feeling like it was overstaying its welcome.
If you’re not a fan of films of the 1980s, The Summoner might not be for you; but if you are, you might want to step up and and shower in the nostalgia.
The Summoner will shower fans of ’80s cinema with nostalgia.