The Incantation tells the story of Lucy, an American twenty-something who travels to her family’s ancestral French castle for the funeral of her great uncle. It doesn’t take her long to notice that something is amiss in the House of Borley. Between cryptic messages from demon Yoda ladies, ghost girls, some pretty serious blood loss, and help from JP the kind-hearted grave digger Lucy starts to piece together the puzzle that is her family’s dark past.
There is something to be said about how satisfying a well done slow burning film with a good payoff can be. However, there are few things I hate more than watching a slow ass movie that never pays off. Luckily, this is the former. The plot moved a little slow in the beginning but that time was not at all wasted. There is such a rich back story and some pretty deep lore behind the plot and it is all laid out really well. While I never got “lost” while watching the movie, I feel like it is one of those films that really needs multiple watches to really take it all in which is fine because The Incantation is definitely good enough to watch a couple more times.
It was also nice to see some of the familiar tropes of supernatural horror explored without over the top gore and jump scares. Look, I’m not saying I don’t dig gore and jump scares, because I totally do. It has just been awhile since I’ve seen a good psychological horror film with paranormal elements. I mean we’ve got ghost children, ancient legends, religious stuff falling off of walls, and not one cheap jump scare. When The Incantation spills blood it does it minimally and with maximum effect. It is well written enough that the plot and characters easily carry the film without need for much else.
The casting in this movie is pretty great. Sam Valentine plays the role of Lucy to perfection, writer/director Jude S. Walko is great as the stern and mysterious Vicar of Borley, and Dean Cain plays the debonair Abel Baddon. Yes. That Dean Cain. I can’t say too much about his character without spoilers but I will say he damn sure ain’t Superman in this movie. The role is a departure for Cain but he nailed it.
There were so many little tidbits about this movie that I loved. For one, it is all shot on location in France and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. That, coupled with how well-shot the movie is, really builds an excellent juxtaposition between the beauty that you see and the terror that is looming just beyond the shadows. Also, the soundtrack features a song by a great bluegrass band called The Dead South. Hearing them in the movie was, to say the least, a pleasant surprise. Shouts out to the music guy Daniel Lepervanche!
So, bluegrass fanboying aside, would I recommend The Incantation? Definitely! It’s a nice paranormal thriller that will really draw you in. What else could you ask for? You can currently get it on DVD and Bluray but it will be available pretty much everywhere you get movies digitally July 31st. Grab a copy and prepare to fall under the thrall of The Incantation.
You can check out the trailer here.