International Weirdness : “Invoked”

Posted: September 20, 2016 in movies
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Conventional wisdom would have you believe that the word “sucker” is spelled S-U-C-K-E-R, but I’m here to tell you, friends, that simply isn’t the case. “Sucker,” you see, is actually spelled R-Y-A-N.

Honestly, I have no one to blame but myself : when a new foreign “found footage” horror flick — from Ireland, in this case — shows up on Netflix, my instinct compels me to give it a shot even though I know that it’ll probably suck. We all have our unhealthy obsessions, and these sorts of films are mine — which would cause any reasonable person to conclude that I must be a glutton for punishment, I suppose, but in my own defense, once in awhile a Die Prasenz comes along that makes enduring all the Archivo 253s and what have you worth it. Unfortunately, 2015’s Invoked, which I just caught last night (and is also available on DVD — though not on Blu-ray — in various international markets, but not here in the US) is very much a bottom-of-the-barrel effort.

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Granted, the deck is stacked against it almost from the outset — director Humberto Rosa (who co-wrote the script along with Aaron Gibson, one of the film’s nominal “stars”) and his credited “co-director,” (whatever that even means — why not just give ’em both equal billing?) Thairon Mendes, apparently shot this thing in three days on a budget of 2,000 Euros, but such limitations haven’t hampered skilled filmmakers in the past. Based on the evidence put forth in front of their HD camera in Invoked, though, these guys are in no way “skilled.”

To our plot recap we go : five friends (Patrick Murphy as Patrick, Lynn Larkin as Lynn, Craig Grainger as Craig, the aforementioned Aaron Gibson as Aaron, and, in a curious break from tradition — albeit only by a couple of letters — Ciara Rose Burke as Kiera) head to the sticks of County Sligo for an evening’s boozing and debauchery in an abandoned hostel that’s rumored to be, of course, haunted. And while they never state that they’re necessarily expecting trouble, they’re gonna record the whole trip a) just in case, and b) ‘cuz that’s just what navel-gazing, self-obsessed millenials do.Busting out a Ouija-esque scrying glass and some makeshift “spirit message” cards or whatever under such circumstances is probably never the wisest course of action, obviously, but once the two couples have finished fucking and everyone has gotten a few beers in them, really — what else do you expect them to do? They wake something up (of course), things go badly (of course), no one survives (of course), and this video “evidence” is all that remains to tell us what really happened (of course).

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As you can see, every box on the cliche checklist is duly ticked and accounted for here, but beyond that, there ain’t much to report. The girls can scream really well — and are called upon to do so often — but none of the cast can really be said to have any actual acting ability; there is less than zero suspense on offer; the limited number of effects on hand are beyond cheesy even for a production of modest means; the dialogue is inauthentic and frankly atrocious; etc. If things going bump in the night still scare you, then you might — I say might — find enough going on here to maintain your interest, but don’t count on it : this is just a damn bad movie that represents nothing other than 85 minutes of your life lost forever.

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Beyond that, not much else to say about this one. The only reaction it Invoked in me was complete and utter boredom, and it’s best avoided at all costs. But was it bad enough to prevent from watching the next no-budget “mockumentary” horror that shows up on Netflix? Of course not! After all, that would make sense — and that’s something I almost never do.

Comments
  1. Ryan C. (trashfilmguru) says:

    Reblogged this on Through the Shattered Lens.

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