I’m a sucker for demon movies. Of any type. Not sure why. Maybe because my own horror project has a lot to do with demons and possession. Which is why I decided to watch Incarnate. I didn’t think it would be as good as it was. There were some problems but I think the main reason I liked it was the main character. As usual, this review will not be spoiler free so stop reading if you want to avoid spoilers. Also, this movie is very recent. Release date was December 2nd, 2016, so yeah really try to avoid this if you don’t want spoilers.
Seth Embers is the main character, though the movie starts pretty decently. It’s a boy with his mother and it’s obvious she wants to keep the father away from him. You don’t get much back story at first but you can tell it most likely had to do with the father being abusive and/or an alcoholic. The boy keeps asking about his father and then hears some voice mails on his mother’s phone so that’s as much as you can piece together from that. After that point, there’s some raggedy homeless woman in his apartment and she touches him and he becomes possessed (that’s how the demon transfers which is super important) and then he is able to kill this woman. This boy is like ten years old or something (I’d guess).
Then they cut to a club scene with some fat ass looking loser dude and a bunch of hot chicks. That’s when Seth first appears. He starts to question the guy who doesn’t believe him. He tells him he’s not awake and he needs to leave this reality and starts to get him to question where he is and what’s going on (what’s real and what’s not). Eventually he talks this guy into thinking he’s not awake and gets him into a room where he also gets him to jump out of a window. Jumping out of a window releases the demon from the host body because the host is making a conscious decision to kick the demon out.
You find out Seth isn’t really a priest or anything he just has this ability to go into possessed people’s minds. He can also evict the demons from these people’s minds. It seems from what they were saying that there are a group of people like this. Seth is “the best” (Mary-Sue much? Actually Seth is a great character so ignore that). Whatever. So some lady named Camilla from the Vatican approaches him to help this boy that you saw at the beginning (Cameron). He doesn’t want to, that isn’t until they bring up Maggie. It’s a demon that killed his family and he wants revenge on her. You find out Seth basically only helps people because he’s trying to find Maggie.
Long story short he enters Cameron’s world/mind and he has to do it twice because the first time the demon is so powerful he basically just kicks the guy right out. Now, before all of this happens, Seth talks to his mentor Felix. This guy has developed some kind of serum so that once injected it will make you lucid (AKA Out of the demon’s control) for like 10 seconds or something and that will give you enough time to kill yourself. That’s the only way to release the demon because they keep saying in the movie “There are fates worse than death”. This would lead you to believe that demonic possession is worth than death and Seth certainly acts like it.
After some good inception style type “Is this real or is this a dream” shit (No it’s actually good I know it sounds cliche and boring but it’s actually good) Seth’s “team” is forced to inject him with the serum and he jumps out of a window. He dies. Which is a good thing. Remember how I said no one was allowed to touch Cameron cause that’s how the demon transferred? Well, no one was allowed to touch Seth either. Except apparently Vatican bimbo Camilla forgot this. In the ambulance they are trying to get a pulse back on Seth and they do, just long enough for him to wake up, take Camilla’s hand, transfer the horrible Maggie demon and die again. Movie ends.
As much as all of this sounds like a jumbled mess of cliches and stolen movie ideas (and I fully admit that it is) I liked it somewhat. There were problems. I really think what kept me watching was Seth because his character spoke to me. He didn’t affiliate with any one religion he just believed in “bad spirits”. He’s also not wrong, across basically all religions there are demons and ways to be possessed so the Catholics don’t exactly have a corner on that market. He also was pretty selfish, really only helping people to find Maggie demon and get revenge on her. It wasn’t until like the super end that he seemed to somewhat give a shit about the actual kid who was possessed (and I liked that too).
However, this kid who is possessed by a super powerful demon just sits in his room? I guess? They don’t have him restrained and most of the time they don’t even have the door shut. The kid just sits there. Several times adults and other people come into close enough reach that he could have leapt out and grabbed them but, nope. The demon also knew that Cameron was going to die cause she/he was feeding on him and still didn’t take every chance she/he got to grab a healthy adult. Also, I fail to see how they even knew this demon was transferred by touch since when they “found” it, it was just in Cameron and hadn’t left him. Demons aren’t really in the business of telling you how they work so I can’t explain how they knew.
I also don’t get why even Camilla knew that you weren’t supposed to touch Seth, even after he fell out of that window but then decided “Oh what the hell I’m going to touch him anyway clearly he couldn’t still have that demon in him” right? I don’t know the ending really pissed me off and I assume it was all written that way to set it up for a sequel. Which I suppose I wouldn’t be too disappointed in as the movie itself wasn’t that awful. Then again I might be biased because I really like demon movies and demon related things so I could be wrong. Anyway if you are into demon shit and want to see a new spin on it, I would suggest this movie. I’d also suggest it if you like main characters being assholes and staying true to character and having somewhat realistic character development through out the movie instead of a bunch of cliche “OMG” lovey dovey tropes thrown at your face.