Brad Peyton’s Incarnate is not your typical possession story in that you have a scientist (?) Dr. Ember (Aaron Eckhart) who’s life has been touched – more like being caught in a car wreck – by the supernatural and devoted his life to freeing people who’ve been effected by the lingering touch of evil.
He possesses the ability to enter the minds of the possessed, enabling him to free them from the hold of demons though having faced evil face to face, he’s devoted his life to freeing people in it’s sway, though his reasons aren’t as altruistic as they may appear.
How does he know he can do this, never mind how? I’m not entire sure but does it he does and what’s interesting is that the movie eschews supernatural motivations for what’s going on – not something you see commonly in these types of movies – and instead offers a pseudo-scientific explanation for what’s happening.
It’s nothing we haven’t seen before – it borrows from better movies like The Exorcist (1973), Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), Fallen (1998) and Flatliners (1990) – but never quite gels.
The cast gives it their all – there’re no weak performances in the bunch – but no other characters are as well-rounded as Eckhart’s Dr. Ember, which means that we don’t particularly care all that much about what happens to them.
As you can probably guess, I tend to enjoy movies that look for scientific evidence for what you’d traditionally call supernatural, so that’s a bonus.
What isn’t is that the movie doesn’t even to try to explain how any of this stuff actually works, which is a pity.
And apropos of nothing, why wasn’t Eckhart cast as John Constantine in Constantine (2005) because, unlike Keanu Reeves, he has range as an actor, which means when he decided to hold back you could tell there’s something going on beneath the skin, as opposed to the void that is Reeves.
And while Eckhart isn’t British – neither is Keanu Reeves – he’s a better actor and blond.
Two out of three ain’t bad.