Directors: Wesley Taylor and Alex Wyse
Style: Horror Comedy
Time: 75 minutes
Review by Mike Szymanski
Three friends kidnap their friend for a bachelor party and rent an infamous haunted house. The friends are gay — very gay, and flamboyantly so.
The reason they are so over-the-top (and we all know those who are actually that way) is to contrast with the uber-straight just-out-of-the-military future brother-in-law to the “bride” who is getting gay married.
It’s all set in a haunted house that holds the mystery of a mother who supposedly killed her son and then killed herself.
This is a campy romp that won’t have you screaming, but squealing (and not like a pig) but with delight.
Travis Coles (from “Superstore”) plays the “bride to be” Larry, who is faux kidnapped by his best friends just before he gets married.
The three friends are Nico, a heavily-made-up white boy played by Frankie Grande (from “Henry Danger”); Reggie, the always-planning meticulous scheduler played by Troy Iwata (“Dash & Lily”), and cute irrepressible Kevin played by Noah Ricketts (from “American Gods.”)
Nico pulls out a Book of Spells and suggests a seance to contact the dead mom and/or her son (he wants a hook-up, really) and they do a very comical seance scene.
When Reggie asks Nico if he can even conduct a seance, Nico goes off on him saying; “Bitch, you know how many times I’ve seen ‘Wicked’? 14 times so don’t question my devotion to the dark arts.”
But, Larry was supposed to spend the day with his future brother-in-law, Harrison, a heterosexual dude dressed in khakis played by Nicholas Logan (from “I Care a Lot.”) Instead, Larry tells his future hubby, Jamie (played by Michael Urie from “Ugly Betty”), to send his brother up to their very gay bachelor party for the weekend. You know things are not going to go well.
When Harrison first arrives, after interrupting the kooky seance, they think he is a stripper and Nico and Kevin throw themselves at him, much to his horror.
Harrison isn’t comfortable with the scene, and keeps saying the wrong things, which makes the mood very awkward. He is sober and doesn’t drink, but he blames someone for spiking his drink, and he takes a bottle of alcohol and retreats to his room, falling off the wagon big time. He also has a history of getting violent when drunk.
The others think that the ghost of the mother, Sylvia Lawrence, is haunting Harrison’s body. Sylvia is played by a spooky long-faced Veanne Cox, and her son Phillip is played by Camden Garcia.
Inundated by too much gay infusion, Harrison explodes after being called “sweetie” or “miss” one too many times, and things get very, very strange. They have to tie Harrison up to exorcise the demon out of him. Nico, meanwhile, is convinced that he has had sex with a ghost.
They find out the mystery of the mother and son’s deaths at the end, and Harrison ends up feeling part of the crowd in a grand finale number that will have you giggling if not guffawing out loud.
It’s fun for everyone, no matter what your persuasion, and it’s a great movie to watch with friends.
Find “Summoning Sylvia” on all streaming platforms now.