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Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 181: Inkubus

Spelling was always his worst subject

I don’t go to horror conventions. I have nothing against them, they just don’t appeal all that much to me. Buy some movies, get your picture with Kane Hodder, see some people dressed up as movie characters. There’s nothing wrong with that, I just have little desire to see trailers for upcoming movies or listen to a panel discussion from the crew working on Saw 19: This Time It’s Personal. Also, I don’t feel like driving long distances to be around sweaty nerds (love you guys, keep visiting the site!). Such wasn’t the case though, when the people involved with the Independent horror movie Inkubus came literally within walking distance of me to talk about the movie. Oh, and Robert Englund was going to be there. ROBERT ENGLUND! They played a trailer for the movie and answered questions from the group. To my disappointment, Mr. Englund could not make it, but his co-star William Forsythe was there and was kind enough to take a picture with me. It was time to finally see Inkubus.

Your favorite blogger with Mr. William Forsythe

Inkubus is a 2011 independent horror movie starring Joey Fatone (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, being in freaking N’SYNC) as Detective Tom Caretti, William Forsythe (Raising Arizona, The Rock) as retired Detective Gil Diamante, and Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street, 2001 Maniacs) as Inkubus. The movie is told mostly in flashback told by a committed Det. Caretti. A small crew is working the final shift in their closing police station in Wood Haven, Rhode Island when a young man arrives named Mikes, covered in the blood of his decapitated girlfriend. He claims to have seen a man covered in shadow in his room before blacking out. As Miles is being questioned, a man named Inkubus walks into the police station holding a woman’s severed head. He surrenders freely, making his phone call via magic to retired Detective Diamante, beckoning to come to the station so he could confess. Diamante was the closest to capturing Inkubus and was eventually committed after the murder of his wife and disappearance of his son. Inkubus reveals that he has committed numerous murders over the centuries and is closing in on being 100 years old. To continue his survival, he must be reborn in a new body. Using his powers, Inkubus begins to play mind games with the officers and killing them in brutal fashion. Will Diamante finally confront his demon and why is Officer Jen Cole, Caretti’s girlfriend, suddenly in such much pain?

Even evil demons need nap time

Independent horror movies are a real mixed bag. Usually low in budget and star power, indie horror has to rely on creative ideas, good storytelling, and innovative tricks to set themselves apart from bigger Hollywood productions. Inkubus is the exception to the rule because it has established actors involved. Robert Englund, one of the kings of horror, is great as Inkubus, relishing in the character’s evil malevolence. On paper, lines like “Abra-fucking-cadabra” and “Killing is magic” may seem clichéd, but uttered by Englund, it takes on a serious and sinister feel. William Forsythe is enjoyable as the broken and emotionally fragile Diamante. His soft demeanor creates an air of sympathy from the audience and really makes us want to see him defeat Inkubus. Joey Fatone is OK, it’s just hard to talk him seriously as an authority figure. The performances by the supporting cast range from passable to questionable.

The story itself has a few good moments, but overall, doesn’t feel particularly thrilling or interesting. It pretty much boils down to “evil supernatural being fucks with some cops.” There are a few good moments and a decent idea or two, but it just misses the mark in terms of being a complete movie. Making the story told in flashback by Joey Fatone while he’s in an insane asylum is clichéd and unnecessary. Adding this little bit is pointless and adds nothing to the movie other than seeing the guy from N’SYNC in a straight jacket in the world’s brightest white room. The movie tries to compensate with some questionable special effects and a surprising amount of blood and gore. I mean, one person’s spine gets ripped out. Spine. Gets. Ripped. Out. It’s unexpected to say the least and is unintentionally funny when you see Robert Englund just holding a spine in his hand. Another poor effect occurs when Officer Cole gives birth to a demon baby. It look so silly and the movie would have been better served implying the baby is a demon than showing a Cabbage Patch doll with horns covered in red food coloring. Sometimes less is more.

Inkubus has some good moments and lots of gorey violence, but it’s just not enough to get over a mediocre story that doesn’t really go anywhere. Robert Englund and William Forsythe put on strong performances and actually make the movie far more tolerable than it would have been if unknown actors had the lead roles. I liked that the film took place in Rhode Island, a state full of scary places and colonial history. As far as independent horror goes, Inkubus isn’t that bad. I have seen much, much worse. It’s heart was in the right place, it just needed a head to follow.


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