When a gaggle of imply women invite Camille (Suki Waterhouse), the protagonist of “Seance,” to contact a useless classmate, she shrugs.
“Why not?” Camille says. “Sounds weird.”
That is actually the thesis of this genre-confused movie: Why not? Sounds bizarre.
“Seance,” directed by Simon Barrett, takes place on the fictional Edelvine Academy, an all-girls boarding college the place an evil presence emerges after a clique of scholars tries to summon a ghost. Newcomer Camille arrives simply as women are starting to vanish.
Given Barrett’s profession as a horror screenwriter — he penned the twisty “You’re Next” and contributed to the “V/H/S” series — it’s no shock that “Seance” is at its strongest when leaning totally into the humor of the style. As the movie reaches its vigorous finish, bloodshed and absurdity each peak. Barrett livens issues up with sensible results and struggle choreography.
Unfortunately, the movie’s climax is at odds with its buildup, a plodding narrative constructed round flimsy characters with even flimsier motivations. “Seance” meanders for many of its operating time, wavering between tones and types. It’s each self-aware and overly severe. It tries to be a homicide thriller, a slasher, a coming-of-age story and a haunted home flick abruptly.
When the movie does select a style, it sometimes sticks the touchdown, however “Seance” finally feels jumbled. Myriad weird selections — like costuming the teenager characters in form-fitting pajamas and haphazardly inserting music into scenes — don’t assist.
Like its characters crafting a planchette out of lipstick and a cellphone case, “Seance” mashes concepts collectively and hopes for the most effective. But moments of true innovation will be discovered among the many blunders.
Rated R for buckets of blood and un-ladylike language. Running time: 1 hour 32 minutes. In theaters and out there to lease or purchase on FandangoNow, Vudu and different streaming platforms and pay TV operators. Please seek the advice of the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier than watching motion pictures inside theaters.