Summoning Sylvia (2023) – Review/ Summary

“Summoning Sylvia” is one of the funniest horror movies you may ever see, that is intentionally funny and good.


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Movie Poster for Summoning Sylvia (2023)

“Summoning Sylvia” is one of the funniest horror movies you may ever see, that is intentionally funny and good.

Director(s) Wesley Taylor, Alex Wyse
Screenplay By Wesley Taylor, Alex Wyse
Date Released (In Theaters) March 31, 2023
Date Released (Video On Demand) April 7, 2023
Genre(s) Comedy, Horror, LGBT+
Duration 74 Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Cast
Larry Travis Coles
Reggie Troy Iwata
Nico Frankie Grande
Kevin Noah J. Ricketts
Sylvia Veanne Cox
Phillip Camden Garcia
Harrison Nicholas Logan
Jamie Michael Urie

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Film Summary

It’s Larry’s bachelor weekend, and Reggie has planned for him, Nico, and Kevin to stay in a haunted house as a treat. The story goes, Sylvia killed her son, Phillip, for reasons unknown, before getting killed herself, and now she haunts her home for eternity. Reggie hoped that, in combination with a few scary moments, everyone could have one last hoorah before Larry and Jamie were official.

But, between Larry inviting Jamie’s quiet, ex-military brother Harrison and the increasing need to question if Sylvia is a danger to them all, a fun weekend takes a turn, and many fear it may turn deadly.

Things To Note

Why Is “Summoning Sylvia” Rated R

  • Dialog: Cursing and use of derogatory terms
  • Violence: Blood, but nothing graphic
  • Sexual Content: Implied sex scenes
  • Miscellaneous: Drinking, occult

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Larry

Travis Coles (Larry)
“Travis Coles (Larry),” Summoning Sylvia, directed by Wesley Taylor & Alex Wyse, 2023, (The Horror Collective)

Larry is known for being co-dependent and a people pleaser and his bachelor’s weekend doesn’t lead to any changes.

Reggie

Noah J. Ricketts (Kevin), Frankie Grande (Nico), Troy Iwata (Reggie) Nicholas Logan (Harrison)
“Noah J. Ricketts (Kevin), Frankie Grande (Nico), Troy Iwata (Reggie) Nicholas Logan (Harrison),” Summoning Sylvia, directed by Wesley Taylor & Alex Wyse, 2023, (The Horror Collective)

Reggie is a bit uptight, but his organization is an asset to the group since he got everyone together under a rented roof and has many exciting activities planned.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Damian Saito in “WeCrashed” and Langston in “Dash & Lily

Nico

Flamboyant, funny, and just a tad bit horny, Nico can be seen as the life of the party, a hot mess, or the one who has 0 issues telling the truth and letting people’s tears fall where they may.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Richard Venti in “Spree” and Frankini in the “Henry Danger” franchise.

Kevin

Kevin is nice and a little gullible, but his kindness helps offset Nico generally not giving a damn and Reggie’s overthinking.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Matthew in “Christmas Déjà vu,” KJai in “American Gods,” and River in “High Fidelity (2020).”

Sylvia

Veanne Cox as Sylvia
“Veanne Cox as Sylvia,” Summoning Sylvia, directed by Wesley Taylor & Alex Wyse, 2023, (The Horror Collective)

A woman of a different era, Sylvia is accused of killing her son in cold blood, seemingly after snapping and dying due to an unknown assailant.

Phillip

Phillip is Sylvia’s son who was killed.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Trevor in “Raising Hope”

Harrison

Nicholas Logan (Harrison)
“Nicholas Logan (Harrison),” Summoning Sylvia, directed by Wesley Taylor & Alex Wyse, 2023, (The Horror Collective)

Quiet, potentially ex-military, Harrison is dealing with a lot in terms of not only learning his brother is gay and getting married but now being encouraged to bond with Larry and his friends.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Brooks in “The Inspection

Jamie

Michael Urie (Jamie)
“Michael Urie (Jamie),” Summoning Sylvia, directed by Wesley Taylor & Alex Wyse, 2023, (The Horror Collective)

Jamie is Larry’s fiancé, who loves him dearly.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Marc St. James in “Ugly Betty,” Jerome Robbins in “Maestro,” and Bob Crewe in “Jersey Boys Live!”

Review


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Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Notable Performances or Moments

Frankie Grande

Frankie Grande steals this movie and makes it into what feels like a launch pad for something more. From one-liners, his back and forth with anyone who challenges Nico, to just being able to be outrageous without taking it to a level that feels camp, the weekend may be about Larry getting married, but Nico is the one who has the most fun.

Highlights

You Get Jump Scares And Laughs

Setting aside Grande as Nico, the others do contribute not only to the laughs but also the scares. The way the film is edited, it interlaces Sylvia’s story with what is going on during Larry’s bachelor party weekend, and from the first jump scare, you find yourself on edge a bit.

Yes, Reggie and Nico have a comical back-and-forth over Nico paying him, and Kevin obsessing over a bot he likes is funny, at first. But, with the shifts to Sylvia’s story and the movie knowing how to transition either naturally or with a jump scare, you get everything you are sold on from watching the trailer.

On The Fence

There Isn’t Much Character or Relationship Development

How did anyone from the present day meet, form a friendship, fall in love, or what is their individual past is an utter mystery. Sylvia, the ghost, and her son are the only ones we get details about. In many ways, this is frustrating, for while you know Larry, Nico, Kevin, and Reggie being gay has bonded them, it doesn’t feel like enough. Nico being friends with the other three seems off, considering he comes off as far more extroverted than the rest. Larry, who repeatedly calls the others children, seems like an older gay dude hanging with a bunch of twinkish guys, but why? Your guess is as good as mine.

Heck, Harrison mentions that Jamie only recently came out yet, why Jamie didn’t come out earlier, how did Larry adjust to someone recently out as a boyfriend, and many of the questions you may have just don’t get touched. Now, in some ways, you can appreciate it since Jamie being closeted because of family, work, or his environment takes us down a very familiar road that is not fun. But that never erases wanting to at least get to know everyone beyond an archetype of this one being the elder, the party starter, the dumb one, or the neurotic one.

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Movie Poster for Summoning Sylvia (2023)
Summoning Sylvia (2023) – Review/ Summary
Overall
“Summoning Sylvia” is a hilarious, at times frightening movie that feels like a showcase for Frankie Grande to get more recognition for his comedic chops.
Highlights
You Get Jump Scares And Laughs
Frankie Grande
Disputable
There Isn’t Much Character or Relationship Development
81

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