Summoning Sylvia is a short yet fun LGBTQ+ horror-comedy

Summoning Sylvia - Courtesy The Horror Collective
Summoning Sylvia - Courtesy The Horror Collective /

A gay bachelor party goes from fun to terrifying in the brand new horror-comedy Summoning Sylvia, a short yet incredibly charming movie sure to make you laugh; it sure made me. So, let’s discuss why this is a movie that you should check out if you are given the opportunity.

Summoning Sylvia stars Travis Coles as Larry, a gay engaged man whose three gay best friends bring him to a supposedly haunted house for his bachelor party. When the friends perform a seance, Larry invites his fiancee’s straight brother to join them, and the night takes a turn for the worse as the titular spirit appears to make herself known to the group.

Summoning Sylvia delivers on the laughs.

Going into Summoning Sylvia, I couldn’t help but be worried that the movie would just purely play into gay stereotypes and make the LGBTQ+ community look like a joke. However, while there are certainly some gags that do this, it’s very clear that the movie is making these jokes out of love, with the cast, in particular, doing a great job at making them feel fresh and funny. I do believe though, that what makes these jokes land is that the movie does have a good message and has a heart to it that goes along with the scares.

While the whole cast is great, Travis Coles is the clear standout in Summoning Sylvia, as they are able to perfectly balance the sweet, awkward, and terrified Larry. Coles’ character’s relationship with his future brother-in-law is particularly memorable, making for some incredibly awkward yet humorous interactions.

Another great thing about the movie is the horrific mystery at the center of the film, surrounding Sylvia and who she is. Unfortunately, I was able to figure out what was going on pretty early on in the movie, which made certain parts of the film drag on a bit, but thankfully Summoning Sylvia is not just about the mystery; it’s about the characters. As I said, the whole cast is excellent, with each of the four friends getting their own time to shine and make their mark.

Summoning Sylvia
Summoning Sylvia – Courtesy The Horror Collective /

It’s worth mentioning that Summoning Sylvia is definitely not for the faint of heart, and I don’t mean because it’s scary, although there are some good jump scares. What I am talking about is that there are scenes that are purposefully cringey, yet still have a layer of heart from writer and director duo Wesley Taylor & Alex Wyse that makes it worth toughing out these scenes.

At the end of the day, Summoning Sylvia’s shorter runtime of just over 70 minutes makes the movie a great watch, as it is nice and quick and doesn’t overstay its welcome. If you’re able to get your hands on this movie, I highly recommend you do, with the film starting its run in select theaters on March 31, and video on demand on April 7, 2023.

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