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Review: Archaon: The Halloween Summoning (2020)

Archaon: The Halloween Summoning is about a Celtic deity Archaon, known as The Lord of the End Times, who gets set free in modern times. However, the only reference Google gave me for Archaon was a character in the Warhammer gaming universe who was also dubbed The Lord of the End Times. Seeing a creature from Warhammer unleashed on suburbia would be something. And certainly, better than what this film delivers.

Jackson (Josh Scherer, I’m Not Ashamed, Boy Erased) has just ordered a Halloween costume. An ancient Celtic one, so authentic, it comes with instructions that he and his buddy Pete (Christopher Dalton) ignore. Jackson’s brother Nolan (Garrett Miller) comes by to call them nerds and make gay jokes at their expense. He then goes fishing with his buddy Hunter (Jaire George, Redemption, Unsaid) and meets Sara (Sarah Zanotti) and her vegan dog.

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While Nolan is explaining to Sarah why he stood her up years ago, the other two are trying to score with Kate (Michaela Lee, The Devil’s Truth) and Teresa (Jules Incorvia, Revelation). Do I have to tell you it all comes to a climax at a Halloween party, and that Jackson really should have read the instructions?

This is Paul Ernest’s first film as director, though he’s worked on several others, including Redeemed and Fearless Faith. The film’s co-writer Michael White worked on the latter as well. Indeed, many of the cast and crew have resumes consisting almost entirely of religious films. That should have been a warning. But being the fearless reviewer, I persevered.

Thankfully, Archaon: The Halloween Summoning wasn’t as preachy as I feared it would be. But it is so bland, inoffensive, and devoid of scares that it was a chore to sit through. It doesn’t help that the demon looks nothing like the poster. It’s a guy in a cheap scarecrow mask who mostly stays out of sight. The mask in Scarecrow’s Revenge was more frightening.

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Archaon: The Halloween Summoning starts out fairly creepy as we see the mask get boxed up in an occult shop. The woman packing it does some magic over the box with what looks like a dead mouse before seeing a nonhuman hand on her shoulder. That’s about as good as it gets. From there on it gets clichéd, Jackson puts on the mask and ends up in an alternate version of the house that’s dark and has a few vines on the wall. So of course, Nolan has to show off for Sara with the same results.

This might have been scary if it was done right. But it’s all so dull and by the numbers. They try to destroy the mask, but it reappears. Someone puts it on at the party and summons the demon. A stranger (Danny Valdes) from a shadowy organization shows up and says, “I’m here to help”. And they take him at his word.

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Did I mention almost nothing of any consequence happens? One minor character, (a black friend of one of the leads, of course), dies. Everyone else ends up with nothing more than a ruined weekend and material for a few nightmares.

Green Apple Entertainment has released Archaon: The Halloween Summoning to streaming platforms. It’s still a month and a half until Halloween. Hopefully, we’ll get something better by then.

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