The Incantation (2018)

February 22, 2018 - 6:29pm | Meredith Brown

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Jude S. Walko
Dean Cain, Sam Valentine, Dylan Kellogg, Beatrice Orro, Jude S. Walko

Welcome to Paris! Or, err…south of France? More like a countryside of ancestral castles that invoke urban legends.  Regardless, Lucy Bellerose, an American student from America has come to France to pay respect to her recently deceased uncle. Or, err…great uncle.

Lucy is young, beautiful and loves to take selfies. In typical millennial form, she makes every immediate effort to stop her long car ride from the airport in order to tape herself for online “fans” documenting her journey across the French landscapes. Once at the destination, the driver immediately fails to approach the sprawling castle and takes his leave at the edge of the drive port. Red flags spring up as Lucy enters her new estate.

Upon her arrival, she meets the intensely strange and mesmerizing Vicar of Borley. The Vicar or deputy of a Bishop, questions Lucy’s motives, peering at her with castle rules and regulations. Knowing very well she will break each and every one, it was obvious that The Vicar became the favorite character to watch.

The massive castle containing hidden family secrets, restricted areas and mysteriously concealed rooms becomes a wonderment of exploration for the young girl as she makes her way into the unknown chambers while of course…taping her self-indulgent adventure. Piecing together ancient writings, local gossip and tales of wealth, Lucy begins to uncover some buried truths that lay deep within her descendants, and her online obsession suddenly disappears. Changes within her occur and the mood drops into a dark place.

The Incantation is a complicated story of witches, magic, legends, and family sacrifice for immortality. Slowly, Lucy is inducted into peculiar situations between Mary, the chambermaid (terrifically portrayed by the sharp tongued Beatrice Orro), to the local insurance salesman, Abel Baddon (brought to life by the evil side of Dean Cain!) She gets wrapped up into a romance with her great uncle’s gravedigger, P.J. (a rather odd and dopey Dylan Kellogg) who awkwardly goes from local informer to full on infatuation within the span of 2 days. The connection felt forced and unnecessary.

That said, this is a somewhat slow but interesting concept with a twist. Cliffhangers are always a welcome addition to horror films and kudos to Jude S. Walko who not only pulled off a clever revelation, but managed to depict the unnerving Vicar in the process. Who knew the director/writer was also the featured performance? Dean Cain never fails to entertain, even when subliminally covering up a sinister side to his persona. And Sam Valentine was well casted as the superficial “princess” of the castle, Lucy. It’s a slow burning journey, albeit a unique one.

Anytime a Vicar is introduced to a story, I am intrigued. Add in a sneering Dean Cain, throw them into the French countryside, and you have a haunting story ready for the fans. The romantic interest felt disjointed, forced and just strange (as did the witchy encounter with the nearby neighbor). But getting back on track with an involuntary sacrificial lamb makes it worth the watch.

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Meredith Brown's picture
Meredith Brown




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