Aaron Eckhart stars as Dr. Seth Ember, an unconventional exorcist who uses science instead of religion to tap into the minds of the possessed to remove the demon from their subconscious. When an 11-year-old boy becomes possessed by a creature of unspeakable evil, Ember enters the mind of the boy to attack the vengeful demon, but he finds himself facing the battle of his life and horrors of his own past.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
Blumhouse has a fairly solid track record with their film initiative and structure, which is to give around $5 million to someone to make a horror film, step back, and watch it reap the rewards both critically and financially. We've seen this happen many times with Blumhouse with film franchises such as, 'Paranormal Activity', 'Insidious', 'Sinister', and even the recent M. Night Shyamalan film 'Split'. These films have grossed well over $100 million each, proving that with the right talent and only a $5 million budget - movie magic can happen in the horror universe. Rarely does this formula not work with Blumhouse, but so is the case with 'Incarnate', which I imagine was supposed to be another horror franchise in the already crowded demonic possession arena.
However, due to the poor financial success and the fact that nobody really liked this film, 'Incarnate' will be just be a one-off movie for the studio. The director here is Brad Peyton, who has been working with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson on a few films, including 'San Andreas'. Needless to say, Peyton is taking a step into a different genre and art form than what he's used to, and I respect that. Indeed, he has some great visuals and some interesting takes on this whole demonic possession realm, but the script is super cheesy with bad dialogue and glaring rip offs from previous possession films, that it just comes across as laughable. Plus, the film tries to be different just for the sake of being different, which is never good.
'Incarnate' follows a wheelchair bound man named Dr. Seth Ember (Aaron Eckhart), who provides exorcisms. Well, he hates the term exorcist and exorcisms and demands them to be called "evictions" for numerous dumb reasons. Hell, Ember isn't even a religious man, so why would he be "evicting" people is beyond me, but the film tries to tell us the truth behind Ember. Soon enough though, Ember gets a call to head to a young boy named Cameron who is being possessed by a demon that Ember has dealt with before, who he refers to as Maggie.
Here is where the interesting part of the movie takes place, which is how Ember deals with these demons. You've seen 'The Matrix', right, where Neo is plugged into a machine and he is transformed into the 'Matrix' world where he looks clean shaven, very cool, and can do anything? That's exactly how Dr. Ember confronts his patients, by inhabiting their fake world in their mind, where he can now walk, is clean shaven, and can fight with the demonic monsters. Laughable as it may be, it's a fresh take on this specific genre, even if we don't have Keanu Reeves telling us he knows Kung Fu.
'Incarante' takes itself too seriously and never really provides an real scares, unless when people's eyes turn fully black s cares you, that's it. Aaron Eckhart is an awesome actor, who as of recently, has done some spectacular films, including 'Sully' and 'Bleed For This'. He chose poorly on this one. On paper, 'Incarnate' looks great, but the execution just wasn't there to scare us or make us laugh, or really provide any sort of entertainment. I'm afraid this demonic film has possessed me to never watch it again.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Incarnate' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc and a DVD copy of the film from Universal and is Region A Locked. There is an insert for the digital download code included here too. The discs are housed in a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.
'Incarnate' comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The whole film was shot digitally, but doesn't have a smooth digital look, which is great. The film on a whole is quite dark with tons of low lit sequences, but it rarely hinders the detail, which is quite sharp and vivid throughout. Closeups reveal every hair on Eckhart's face and head nicely. The makeup effects also look very good too here. Wide shots have depth and never go soft either.
Colors don't really pop off screen, but that's because the film is steeped in darkness for the most part. There are a couple of scenes that have some fade primaries, but the theme, style, and color spectrum here won't light up any room. Black levels are deep and inky, which is excellent and the skin tones are natural here always. There was some minor video noise, but it's nothing to write home about. Lastly, there were no other compression issues of notice, leaving this with a very good video presentation.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and sounds excellent in this horror landscape. Sound effects are loud, robust and pack a powerful punch at all times with all of the haunting sounds of possession. The ambient noises of the city life, people talking, and the "dream world" are fantastic and pour from the rear speakers nicely. Music cues and crescendos out loud and forceful, leaving you to jump out of your seat from time to time.
The low end here brings the bass to the forefront and sounds great in each scene, delivering an eerie, foreboding presence without going into rocky territory. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, or shrills, leaving this audio presentation with great marks.
'Incarnate' comes with the theatrical version as well as the 'Unrated' version. The difference between the two is less than 30 seconds and doesn't add anything to the film.
The Making of 'Incarnate' (HD, 7 Mins.) - This is your standard EPK promo piece with cast and crew interviews that discuss the making of the film.
'Incarnate' has some good ideas behind it, along with a great actor in the lead role. Unfortunately, the film just isn't that good or even scary, when it so desperately tries to be. This is one demonic possession film you won't mind missing out on. The video and audio presentations are both good, but there is only one extra, and it's a promo piece. Feel Free to skip this one all together.
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