Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Movie Review: "Incarnate" (2016)

Director: Brad Peyton
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes
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Dr. Seth Ember (Aaron Eckhart) has the unique ability to enter the minds of the possessed in order to evict the parasitic entities that have latched onto their victims. He receives a request from the Vatican to help evict an archdemon from a young boy (David Mazouz), a demon he has faced in the past, one he calls Maggie.

"Incarnate" is directed by Brad Peyton, who is known for films like "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" and the global box office juggernaut "San Andreas." It stars Aaron Eckhart as Dr. Seth Ember, a wheelchair-bound scientist of sorts who has an unexplained ability to enter the minds of possessed people. He uses this gift to evict, as he calls it, parasitic entities, as he calls them (demons to the layman), by breaking down the false reality these demons use to trap their victims. The latest demon Ember must face is one with strong ties to his past, an entity he calls Maggie, who has entered the body of an 11-year old boy named Cameron, played by David Mazouz, who lives with his mother Lindsay, played by Carine van Houten.

"Incarnate" is your standard exorcism movie with a little bit of a twist. Unfortunately, it's a twist that isn't all that new or all that interesting. Going into the mind of a patient (or any person for that matter) is something we've seen in many, many, many films in the past. We've seen it in far better movies like "Identity," "The Cell," "Inception," and even "A Nightmare On Elm Street." The only difference here is the exorcism angle, but without all the religiousy mumbo jumbo. This doesn't feel like a horror at all, even though it is billed as one. This film has the feel of a low budget comic book film, like a cheap knock off version of "Constantine," but with worse CGI.

Look, we have to call 'em like we see 'em, and "Incarnate" is pretty damned awful. We usually like Aaron Eckhart, so we get perplexed when he makes career choices like this. He does a movie like "The Dark Knight," which is still in our top 3 favorite comic book movies, and then he does "I, Frankenstein." He does a fantastic film like "Thank You for Smoking," and then he does a major stinker like "Battle: Los Angeles." About two weeks ago, we saw him act his heart out in a rather brilliant part in "Bleed for This," and now, here we are. This is another terrible role for him. The acting across the board is pretty bad, but Eckhart should know better by now. In addition, most of the dialogue is downright laughable, and when delivered in Eckhart's Harvey Dent gravel-voice, it makes it even worse. David Mazouz has only been in a few films, but he's not off to a great start between this and another one of this year's horror flops, "The Darkness." On top of all of this, the whole film is completely predictable, down to the last frame. There is one point early on when a little exposition is delivered and one character offers another a specific item necessary for the rest of the movie to play out as it needs to. It is right then, at this point, when we realized we knew exactly how it would end. We could have stopped watching there because we predicted the ending with 110% accuracy. We don't mention this to show off how awesome our prediction abilities are (though they have gotten pretty good over the last 4 years of going to every single movie in the theater), but rather to merely point out how carelessly "Incarnate" is put together.

It's hard to fathom how an actor like Eckhart can go from such highs to such lows and stay in the game for as long as he has. Other lesser actors would have been forgotten and dismissed long ago. "Incarnate" is completely forgettable, a movie you can definitely skip.

My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 21%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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