Tower Terrors: Seance The Summoning (2011)
Written & Directed By Alex Wright
Stars: Bobby Campo, Nazneen Contractor, Chris Olivero and Devon Ogden
I think the most interesting thing about this rather oddball horror is that many of these stars actually went on to major roles within both television, film and even voice acting. But I’ll get into that later. First off, the film follows four young people as they enter a locked down morgue with the help of Marcus (Chris Olivero) who is an employee at the facility. Now, the whole premise of this film more or less involves Joey (Bobby Campo) and Eva (Nazneen Contractor) and their little argument over the existence of supernatural forces. When the four decide to set up a ritual, it is here that the witch Eva reveals the fact that Joey was hiding himself as a channeler, despite telling her he thought it was all bullshit. It isn’t until Joey is possessed by an unclean spirit and breaks Marcus’s neck early on that Sara (Devon Ogden) comes into play as this high on fire for Jesus woman. The film literally transforms paradigms to that of a heavily occult-natured film, to what I would consider a major of act of proselytism as Sara eventually winds up converting the witch Eva to Christianity, so that she can defeat the shirtless manbeast that Joey is later reduced to in the second part of the film. No, seriously. They tie him up to a chair, leave him in a room and keep coming back to battle him with different religious means. Either it’s spouting Bible verses or burning him with the cross or even using The Lord’s Prayer. The demon reveals many things about the characters and is actually a great device for plot twists. Of course, he provides much sex appeal for women in the fact that we most see him shirtless and rippling. Hence why he later appeared on Grey’s Anatomy, to which I’m sure several women dropped trow. There are even fervent scenes of eroticism to which the demon-possessed Joey all but performs sexual acts on these women, which forced me to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t watching a porn, but a horror film. That being said, things got rather steamy. All in all, everyone in the film met their demise except for Joey and Eva, to which she was finally able to drive the spirit away into a rat (which also left Joey dead) to which she performs a literal Ozzy Osbourne towards the end of the movie. I did not expect this and it hardly feels like a Christian act, making me wonder how Eva felt about religion towards the end of the film. I don’t personally see her ready to join a convent after that kind of display, as awesome and unpredictable as it was.
The film is actually watchable despite some corny lines here and there. As with many horror films out there, both of the women are wearing low-cut tops, though Joey is mostly shirtless which I’m sure made a bunch of Grey’s Anatomy fans buy this one for their collections. However, I was surprised at how well the plot developed and the use of the demon (whose name wasn’t revealed, as names have power) to create twists in character development, so that’s definitely a plus. But this film is more about fighting demons with the power of God and never giving up despite the tricks of the devil. Not the kind of message I was looking for in horror and could easily be chopped into a Christian PSA, but the ending made it worth the unexpected paradigm switch.
It is worth nothing that virtually all of the actors in this film went onto extremely well-known roles after this one, most particularly Bobby Campo who as I said was in Grey’s Anatomy, The Final Destination, Criminal Minds, CSI, Masters Of Sex, Being Human (US Version) Justified and more. He was also on CSI prior to the film, back in ’09. Nazneen Contractor went onto star in Star Trek: Into Darkness, the short-lived Heroes Reborn, Roman J. Israel, Ransom, Chicago PD and even some voice acting in the game Dying Light. Not bad, I feel that her work here showed that she had some acting chops. She was also in Scorpion, Person Of Interest, Castle, Revenge and Bones. And from what I’ve researched, it appears that Seance may have been the vessel that moved her career forward. Either that, or Pegasus Vs. Chimera. As far Chris Olivera, he was already known for his work in NCIS, Boston Public and if you were a teen back in the early 00’s, Kyle XY. After ’14 it seems that he just jumped off the map completely. Finally, we have Devon Ogden who is still active in films like The Founder, The Mule, Nashville and Television super hit, This Is Us.
However you want to spin it, this relatively decent “Jesus fever” drama disguised as a supernatural horror with more sexuality than you can shake a stick at, was just what some of these stars needed to launch a career into the world of television. No doubt, they’re all looking at it as a tax write-off and probably don’t even want to be reminded of it. Nevertheless, that’s what we’re here for.
(1hr 40 minutes)