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Film / A Dark Song

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A Dark Song is a 2016 Irish independent horror film, written and directed by Liam Gavin and starring Steve Oram and Catherine Walker.
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It tells the story of Sophia (Walker), an Englishwoman tormented by the untimely death of her child, who rents a remote house in Wales and hires the services of the occultist Joseph Solomon (Oram) to perform a long, complicated and dangerous ritual to summon her guardian angel. If done successfully, she’ll get to right a terrible wrong from her past, but if the ritual is not perfect, they will be endangered by demons.

For all intends and purposes, it is Summoning Ritual The Movie.


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A Dark Song provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Black Magic: Sophia’s real intention. She wants to make the guardian angel help her get revenge on the teenagers who murdered her son.
  • Blood Magic: Since Sophia isn't willing to forgive her son's killers, Solomon is forced to improvise a workaround that involves a blood sacrifice.
  • Bottle Film: Nearly the entire film takes place within a single house.
  • Closed Circle: After a certain point, the house becomes untethered from reality and any attempt to leave leads right back to it.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Solomon asks Sophia to strip for him, presumably because they are about to perform ritual sex. Instead, he asks her to bend over and jerks off.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After months of being trapped inside the house, dealing with Solomon's constant abuse, and being tortured by demons, Sophia finally meets her guardian angel, who she asks to grant her the power to forgive and move on.
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  • Fingore: The demons that overrun the house cut off one of Sophia's fingers when they torture her.
  • Geometric Magic: The ritual is based around geometric figures, mainly circles, but also squares and triangles.
  • Guardian Angel: The whole point of the movie is to summon Sophia's guardian angel so she can ask a favor from it. She succeeds.
  • Jerkass: Solomon is a highly unpleasant, very abusive individual.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The angel manifest as a beautiful human shaped being back-lit by glowing white light, but it is so massive that it has to stay bent forward and with one knee to the floor and its head still reaches the ceiling.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The demons Sophia encounters are very much human in appearance, and use household tools for torture.
  • Point of No Return: Once the house is sealed within the circle of salt, there is no turning back. The ritual must be seen through to its conclusion or there will be terrible consequences.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Sophia withholding from Solomon the information about what her real objective was with the ritual starts the chain of events that leads to his death.
  • Revenge: Sophia main motivation. The fact that she didn't tell Solomon botches the ritual.
  • Ritual Magic: The only way to contact the guardian angel is through a long and complicated ritual.
  • Salt Solution: The first step of the ritual is to seal the house from the outside world with a circle of salt.
  • Summoning Ritual: The entire movie is based around the performance of one, showing it to be a grueling month-long endeavor.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Sophia's son was murdered by some teenagers seeking to perform a ritual of their own.

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