‘The Devil Incarnate’ is a creepy yet somewhat disjointed and predictable horror thriller. Holly and Trevor are newlyweds and now expectant parents. Almost as soon as the happy couple get the good news about the baby things start to get weird. Holly starts exhibiting strange and violent behavior. It becomes clear to Trevor’s sister that there is something wrong with the baby growing in Holly’s belly, and she sets out to figure out what. This leads to the discovery that Holly and the future child may have fallen victim to an ancient curse and the bloodlust of an evil demon.
The film is an interesting mix of found footage and single camera third person shots. This hybrid approach does a great job eliminating many of the typical pitfalls of found footage films while still keeping with their special brand of horror. Some of the film’s third person shots do get a bit artsy at times, but the clever interspersing between a view of a character filming something and shots of what is being filmed give an extra layer to the storytelling.
Neither Holly nor Trevor are very likeable characters throughout the film. This is unfortunate for a couple of reasons. First, since so much of the film revolves around the change in Holly’s temperament it would seem important for there to be a standard to measure the change from. There are hints of how insane she has gotten from everyone else’s reactions, but the film does not do a great job building up the before and after of her personality change. Second, the film would be better served if Trevor was a more sympathetic person. His wife and child are likely in grave danger, and his character makes it hard to root for him as a protagonist. Trevor’s sister is the only likeable character, and the interactions between her and her brother quickly become an annoying source of conflict.
‘The Devil Incarnate’ does not have the most original plot, yet this is somewhat redeemed by the way it is shot. The mix of found footage and third person camera work breathes life into a somewhat dull premise, allowing an interesting synthesis of horror techniques and scare tactics. There are certainly better horror films, but ‘The Devil Incarnate’ is a great example of how creative filming can boost a somewhat dull plot.