Incarnate is one of the most infuriating horror films in recent memory, not due to it’s poor quality, but its squandering of an admittedly intriguing concept. Not only is the film a nearly beat for beat rip off of Christopher Nolan’s Inception, borrowing nearly identical story elements, iconography, and moments, but it’s ultimately a cliched approach to a tired genre. The film is relentlessly uninteresting, but it’s climactic moments are clearly imitating a better artist.
Dr. Seth Ember (Aaron Eckhart) is a scientist able to remove malicious forces from the possessed through entering their subconscious minds. After a horrific incident, Ember is hired to protect a young boy who’s been possessed by a demon. When he becomes convinced that the demon has ties to a tragedy in his past, Ember takes on his most dangerous mission yet.
The idea is interesting, and despite a few intriguing dream sequences, the majority of the film is tedious melodrama, ripping every cliche out of the book and not having the self awareness to justify it. Aaron Eckhart, a brilliant actor, does his best and makes the most of the weak material, and seems to understand the tone of the film more than anyone else. It’s a utterly forgettable and thoroughly uninteresting venture, ranking amongst the biggest letdowns of 2016. Grade: C