Netflix film Incantation is the latest horror film to go viral, with people proclaiming it “the most terrifying film made in Taiwan.” That’s a pretty hefty claim, especially since Taiwanese zombie film The Sadness was such a hit when it debuted on Shudder in May of this year.
Incantation opens with Ronan speaking directly to us, the viewers. She tells us that her six-year-old daughter Dodo has been cursed, and we can help lift it and send blessings to the little girl by chanting an incantation and memorizing an insignia. We then start to learn the history behind this curse.
Six years ago, Ronan, her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s cousin hosted an internet channel, referring to themselves as Ghost Busters. We are told this part of the story through the cameras the Ghost Busters are filming on, and periodically are brought to more current events.
In the past, the so-called Ghost Busters are investigating a group of people who worship a deity known as Buddha-Mother. One of the worshippers senses that Ronan is pregnant, and that’s news to her, despite the fact that she has been vomiting fairly frequently.
As the three begin to secretly film some of the rituals, some pretty scary s*** goes down, and Ronan ends up eventually giving up custody of her daughter in order to get psychiatric treatment.
In present day, Dodo is being returned to Ronan, who seems to be doing much better. But as soon as Dodo moves in, disturbing occurrences start to take place, and these are some of the most unsettling scenes in Incantation. Dodo sees what she refers to as a “baddy” on the ceiling of her room, and often talks to something we can’t see.
As it becomes more and more apparent that the curse Ronan carries due to her run-in with Buddha-Mother is out in full force, Dodo starts to pay the consequences, and we get more and more invested in the story.
I can’t begin to explain to you how much I was rooting for this mother-daughter team. Dodo was adorable, and her facial expressions were spot-on. Ronan obviously adores her child, and is desperate to save her from the Baddy…no matter what it takes.
Much has been said about the level of gore present in Incantation, which is probably best categorized as a found footage/screen life horror film.
Maybe I am a bit desensitized due to the fact that I have been watching horror of all kinds since I was a kid, but I didn’t really find it to be exceptionally bloody, especially when compared to The Sadness. Maybe the Netflix crowd is more sensitive to gore than the Shudder crowd?
I am a fan of clever plot twists, and Incantation delivers a pretty great one at the end. Is it the scariest film I’ve ever seen? No, it’s not even the scariest film I’ve seen this year, but it’s pretty disturbing, and it stuck with me.
Have you watched Incantation on Netflix? If so, did you think it was too gory? We want to know your thoughts, drop them in the comments section.