Incantation: Movie Review

Incantation Movie Review: Visually and Narratively Shaky

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"Incantation" had its moments. At its best, it was a terrifying and uncomfortable film to watch. The kind of film that you'll be having a hard time looking straight at the screen. But these highlights were few and far between and the journey to get to these were a convoluted mess. This found footage shaky cam film just had too much of a shaky narrative to eke out its full potential.   

Six years ago, Li Ronan was part of a group who call themselves "The Ghostbusters". They visit a remote village and bear witness to an unusual and rare ritual worshipping a deity they call the Buddha-Mother. But the group, out of their curiosity, breaks a religious taboo and putting a curse on them. Ronan escapes and now in present day, she gets custody back to her daughter Dodo. But soon her daughter experiences dark visions and entities in their home - leading to a belief that the curse is now back and out to get her daughter instead.

Years after the found footage genre lost its charm, we were oddly-surprised that the Taiwanese film "Incantation" dares to use a tried and tired method. As expected, the film suffers the same issues why found footage films become problematic - most of these rooted in the preposterous idea that there's always a camera recording even in the most illogical scenarios. But these issues are made worse as "Incantation" has a narrative that jumps from two different timelines. These shifts from the past and "present" time were jarring and had as confused and double-dipping just to get a better idea what was happening on-screen. The story itself was just normal and this generic nature may have forced the hands of its creators to force some "spice" into it by jumbling its structure around with little success. We must admit though that at its peak, "Incantation" was actually disturbing and intense. There were particular scenes that had us looking away from the screen because the tension was through the roof. But, and this is a huge one, the scenes between these high moments were just too numerous. You'd be bored by the time the next genuine scary scene shows up. Overall, "Incantation" had a lot of potential but wasted with its limiting format and even more limiting execution.   

Rating: 2 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- at its scariest, the film was genuinely terrifying

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- confusing narrative
- boring and tedious

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