I had the opportunity to catch the new exorcism movie, Incarnate, last night. I’m a fan of religious horror flicks, but I had pretty low expectations for this one. The movie starred Aaron Eckhart, who hasn’t really done anything good since The Dark Knight, and the kid (David Mazouz) from The Darkness, where he also happened to be tormented by a demonic entity. So it would be an understatement if I were to say I was not looking forward to this movie– especially since I’m currently getting my demonic fill with the very awesome TV show The Exorcist on FOX. To my surprise the movie didn’t turn out to be total garbage.
Incarnate told the story of Dr. Seth Ember (Eckhart), a scientist who has the power to enter the subconscious mind of demonically possessed victims and exorcise their demons, or as he liked to call it, “perform an eviction.” Dr. Ember is called upon to help save the life of a young boy, which also leads to him confronting the ghosts of his past.
This movie had some inkling of promise. The overall premise is pretty fucking dope. It definitely takes the exorcism game and turns it upside down. The concept of expelling the demon from the inside, instead of compelling the demon out made this movie not boring. It could’ve definitely fallen into the pitfalls of the generic possession movie, but it set out to try and do something different, and for that I appreciate it. I wish the execution would’ve been better, but I guess for a movie with a production budget of only $5 million, it wasn’t too shabby. The acting was dialed in and exactly what you’d expect of this type of genre fare. Eckhart was able to carry the load for the entire movie. That’s not saying much, but nothing to see here, let’s move along.
The movie was rated PG-13, which is always a bummer, but there were a couple of moments where it kind of got a little edgy, which left me pleasantly surprised that they were able to sneak something like that in there– for example, a hand breaking scene comes to mind, and that was pretty gnarly. The look of the victims was definitely PG-13. They opted for CG red eyes instead of any macabre looking body effects, which in a way makes sense, since he’s expelling the demon from the mind. Still, I do love it when the possessing entity totally causes battle damage to our victim.
Incarnate was not a bad horror flick, but I wouldn’t call it good either. Though the concept of a reverse exorcism is pretty darn clever, it lacked solidity– the concept was all they were working with and even that wasn’t fleshed out fully. They want you to just accept this dude’s ability as is, without explanation– not happening. I’m just really glad this movie had a runtime of 90 minutes, because anymore would’ve been grounds for my own eviction.