I decided to review “Incubus” because invariably, every time I’ve sat down to watch TV in the past month, it’s been showing on Chiller, so I’ve unwittingly been subjected to portions of it enough times to equal watching the whole movie at least twice. Despite the repeated viewings, this movie is so poorly written that it took reading plot summaries on the internet (some of them even conflicting) to realize what the movie was really about. Bad writing, combined with disjointed scenes and my brain automatically tuning out Tara Reid’s monotonous drivel when she explained certain key plot moments at length, added up to one horribly frustrating disaster of a movie.
The premise of the movie is the overused, “friends on a road trip, car breaks down because of accident and they are forced to find shelter in a mysterious building” theme that makes you wonder why so many people seem to forget to use common sense when driving with a car full of people in deserted forest areas. Once the inevitable breakdown happens, Tara Reid’s character Jay, and her friends (except for one who decides to stay with the car for no known reason other than proving she is the smartest of the bunch) discover a deserted building/laboratory/abandoned zombie movie set, fall in through a roof and subsequently get trapped inside.
Of course, they proceed to alarmingly discover several dead bodies of scientists, plus one who’s still alive and insane, and a semi-naked unconscious bald guy locked in a glass cell with tubes protruding from all over his body, making him look like a skinny white boy version of Frankenstein. The remaining insane scientist kills Jay’s brother Josh while he looks for a generator. Soon after they all find a key to unlock the glass cell and so begins Jay’s obsessive attempt to solve the mystery of the freak in the cell, despite the fact that her brother just died a few moments before.
Jay, a medical student (what?) flips through a few folders and video tapes, and amazingly deduces that the freak in the cell is a convicted murderer who’s execution was faked so the government could use him as a test subject in “remote viewing” experiments. As a result, the “Sleeper” as he’s called, has the ability to invade people’s minds when they are sleeping and take control over their bodies, which explains the deaths of the scientists.
The characters spend the rest of the movie alternately panicking about trying to find a way out of the compound, and trying to analyze the “Sleeper”. This somehow leads to them each falling asleep (like that would happen when you’re in a scary scientific compound full of dead people), being possessed by the freak, and killing each other to the point where the only ones left are Jay (Tara Reid, of course) and the Sleeper. I oversimplified this part, but what I wrote actually makes more sense when you leave out all the unnecessary specifics.
I won’t go into greater detail because this movie has so many incongruities it took me several days just to paste together this extremely basic summary. The bland hospital-like colors of the compound they spend the whole movie in, and the hazy, dim lighting further added to my inability to pay attention to the movie for longer than 30 seconds at a time. The only thing that occasionally startled me out of my zombie-like daze was Tara’s hysterical “hiccup sobbing” that occurred at random inappropriate moments throughout the movie.
It was not surprising that Tara Reid’s character was the one to survive since so much of the movie’s camera shots are devoted to her and her boobs. It’s clear that Tara was meant to stand out in her bright aqua low cut shirt, with gratuitous bend-over shots and repetitive bouncy jogs through the halls that had no direct correlation to the movie. At some point in my life and I can’t remember why, I actually thought Tara Reid was a good actress. I don’t know if it’s because of the excessive weight of her over-sized breast implants, but throughout this movie, it seemed the extent of her dramatic talent was having a constant look on her face that seemed to express a chronic state of painful constipation.
The “Sleeper” character was the only part of the movie that was mildly creepy. Whoever did his make-up job succeeded in creating the unnervingly androgynous android/zombie that I didn’t know I feared until seeing this movie. Even more disturbing was the fact that he could sing creepy sing-song warnings to Jay (“Jay Jay, I’m coming to get you girl, I want to be inside you…[um, what?]) despite the fact that we learn earlier that he bit off his own tongue when he was a child. And although we think Jay kills him in the end, we get a flicker of an attempted movie twist when Jay is rescued (and arrested?) and her eyes glow at the camera as a “sign” that the “Sleeper” did in fact, get his wish of “being inside her”.
It was finally at this point that I was able to make the connection of why the title of the movie is “Incubus” – a lascivious male demon who possesses women while they sleep, impregnating them, or in this case, impregnating themselves into the woman’s brain. It might have helped if the title connection was a bit more obvious earlier in the movie to at least give the viewer some direction of its overall point.
Basically, this movie was horrid. I can’t believe Chiller played it so many times, forcing me to endure it’s horribleness repeatedly. I forgot to mention that this movie was created with the purpose of being the first “direct-to-download” film, sold exclusively through DVD. This was not a good movie to use to set an example for a new method of movie distribution. I think it doomed the assumed “quality” of all future “direct-to-download” releases.
Plus, I never realized how hard it was to construct a review of a movie that had a horribly disjointed plot. I wasted way too much time on trying to figure this movie out because I don’t really think it was ever supposed to make sense. The target audience of this movie was young males who would be hypnotized by the bouncing of Tara Reid’s giant botched boob-job breasts, thus rendering the need for a discernible plot pointless. Overall, “Incubus” gets one-half of a cheese wedge out of five for just being crap – no quality and not even any real cheesiness to enjoy. Just crap.