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Incantation (2022) review – found sequence format plots, but story falls flat

July 9, 2022

This review of the Netflix movie Incantation (2022) contains no spoilers.

“Do you believe in such things as blessings? the opening story of spell (2022) asks the public. The Taiwanese horror film directly engages the viewer in its exploration of blessings and curses as a mother tries to save her child. Directed by Kevin Ko and written by Ko and Chang Che-wei, the film uses a found footage documentary approach to tell its disturbing story. spell was released in Taiwan in March 2022 but is now available internationally on Netflix.

The film’s story was inspired by a 2005 incident in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in which a family claimed they had been possessed by folk demons and resulted in the death of the eldest daughter. In the film, Ronan (Tsai Hsuan-yen) has finally recovered enough from the events six years prior to take custody of his daughter Dodo (Huang Sin-ting), who lives in a foster home. However, Dodo is soon affected by strange “villains” and falls dangerously ill.

Flashbacks to six years prior reveal that Ronan was once part of a ghostbusting YouTube channel alongside her boyfriend Dom (Sean Lin) and cousin Yuan (Wen Ching-yu). They went to a remote village to see a Chen clan ritual worshiping a god called Mother Buddha. As the film unfolds, audiences learn more about the curse they unleashed with their trip there and how it still affects Ronan and those around him.

The film uses its mockumentary format to engage audiences and make them feel involved. At one point, Ronan even asks viewers to say a blessing with her. This breaking of the fourth wall, while not necessarily something new to the horror genre, helps make the story more engaging. The project is billed as a cry for help for Ronan’s daughter, and Dodo is cute enough to touch the hearts of the audience.

spell is full of creepy imagery and a certain amount of body horror, but is more disturbing than scary due to its disjointed editing and pacing. The movie is too long and gets a bit boring in the middle and the off-timeline format is confusing, making it hard to follow what’s going on at times. There are a handful of truly spooky sequences, particularly towards the end of the film, but those looking for a slasher flick will be disappointed as much of the horror revolves around religious worship and mysterious insects.

The performances of the entire cast are useful, but none really stand out as outstanding. The same statement could apply to the film as a whole. It’s at its best when it focuses on the central story of a mother reunited with the daughter she couldn’t care for due to her collapsed mental state and her determination to finally care for. she. However, Ko doesn’t seem quite sure how to balance that with the horror elements that make spell a decent, yet unforgettable watch.

What do you think of the movie Incantation (2022)? Comments below.

You can watch this movie with a Netflix subscription.

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