James Secker’s short film The Summoner introduces us to a world where the spirit world can be very invasive. When this happens the public can call upon The Summoner and he will come and clean your home. Think Tangina Barrons with muscles and technical wizardry. Haunted by his past and perhaps even the very work that he does The Summoner responds to a call for help.
Like any good story The Summoner has its beginning, middle and end but it still leaves you wanting to know more about The Summoner and his past. There is a hint that some of the public do not like the service that he provides. Then there is the bookend story of his partner Maria. We do not know what happened to her, perhaps it is a story for another time. As The Summoner Adam McNab does a good job of portraying a man with the weight of his world bearing down on him. His gravelly baritone voice rings somewhere between Sean Connery and Gerard Butler.
The middle act of The Summoner is the cleansing of a home and it is a good old fashioned rumble with a couple ghosts. Secker kept the old 4:3 aspect ratio which limited the space he could shoot the action in and he lost a bit of it to that. Further attention to space around the action will enable him to catch it all in the frame. I am really fond of this idea of someone being able to tap out a ghost though.
I am no expert but I do not recall many ghost movies where you can punch them in the face. May whatever technology the Summoner uses when he cordons off the house allows for physical altercations. As ‘advanced’ as this technology may appear there is a strong throwback vibe throughout the short film from the synthwave soundtrack, to cassette players, and the classic training and exercising interludes.
The Summoner is a swell dose of nostalgia that delivers a load of whupass to unwanted spirits.