‘Seance’ Review: Simon Barrett’s Boarding School Slasher Needs Slashing of Its Own

Many things can be true at the same time, a concept that first-time feature director and long-time horror scribe Simon Barrett tries to tap into with his debut “Seance.” It hints at the possibility of two ghosts within its first five minutes and the twinned ghost stories soon expand to involve all manner of other horror-centric tropes: a creepy boarding school, a mysterious new girl, a shy new friend with (maybe) a secret, even a handsome outsider who loves to lurk — along with the usual assortment of flickering lights, bloody visions, and a basement filled with archival material that might hold some answers.

Yes, many things can be true at once, but “Seance” might benefit from being pared to a more streamlined story.Barrett’s film hints at the sleeker, darker film underneath his many genre fixations; it also sets up the possibility of a followup that could better tap into those ideas.

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