Seance pulls together a talented, mostly-female cast for a creepy, supernaturally-charged horror film hailing from frequent Adam Wingard collaborator Simon Barrett. The mixture of ghost and slasher subgenres makes for an interesting mashup, though I’m not sure if it always works. In the wake of a cruel Bloody Mary-like campus prank, a tragic death frees up a spot in the dorms for fresh blood. Suki Waterhouse leads the pack, playing Camille, the new (and annoyingly cavalier) student at Fairfield Academy. Camille and a small group of girls decide to perform a seance to communicate with the dead girl.
The premise clues you in already on what you’re going to receive. Each of the girls starts getting killed off one by one, and no one knows who is committing the murders. The initial seance resulting in the death sees the girls trying to communicate with the Fairfield Ghost, and some of the visuals will freak out believers in the supernatural. A creepy image of the dead girl standing in the corner of Camille’s dorm room proves Barrett can stage flashes of horror excellence.
The final act takes the slasher element and runs with it to satisfying results. This angle is fun, but the subgenre switch comes fully out of left field. I wish characters were developed better, and that Seance had been paced differently. It takes a little bit too long to get into the story’s meat and potatoes; I really adored the slasher section of the finale. Seance shows promise for Simon Barrett to continue working in the field of horror with the unique sensibility he brings to the genre.
Seance comes to theaters, on demand, and digital on May 21st, followed by a Shudder release later in the year.