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Inkubus (2012)


Director: Glenn Ciano
Starring: Robert Englund, William Forsythe
Certificate: 18
Running time: 95 minutes
DVD Release Date: 13 Feb 2012

The ‘k’ in the title is reversed, which kind of tells you all you need to know about the lack of originality at work here. If you’re old enough to remember when Robert Englund terrified the world as Freddy Kruger in A Nightmare on Elm Street, or if you’re even older and remember him as the friendly alien in the original TV series V, then you might want to give this one a miss. Sometimes it’s better to keep the memories intact; sometimes ignorance is best.

Inkubus starts with a man in a straight jacket. He’s locked in a prison interview room, trapped with his memories of his wife’s death during childbirth, and about to be questioned by the police. The main story is told in flashback, and because the audience has already been party to other flashbacks of the insane man’s wife giving birth to a demon, there’s very little tension as things progress.

In familiar Assault on Precinct 13 territory, we have a police station that’s shutting down, with a skeleton staff kept in place to see things through on the last night. A teenage boy has been brought in for murdering his girlfriend, but as he’s questioned he demands that he’s innocent and states that a strange dark man entered the room, decapitated the girl, and ran off with her head. Hey presto, Robert Englund walks calmly in swinging the girl’s severed bonce. Like John Doe in Seven (which also has a letter reversed in its title, but we’ll forgive that because it’s a great film), he’s come to turn himself in…but he also wants to play games with the authorities. Unfortunately, the games – like the film – are rather banal, and involve the Inkubus getting inside people’s heads and messing about with their perception of where he is and what he’s doing.

Some people die in unspectacular fashion. William Forsythe sleepwalks through the film. There are some gubbins about a demon that has to be reborn via a human mother every hundred years. Some more people die. And then we have the demon birth from the start of the movie. Some films can be forgiven a lot of their flaws if they show ambition and intelligence, but sadly this one demonstrates neither of those attributes. Instead, it insults its potential audience by not even bothering to try.

The word that springs to mind while watching this movie is tired. There’s a tired script, tired direction, tired camerawork, and some very tired acting. The whole thing looks like it was shot on video. Even Englund and the usually reliable William Forsythe (here looking remarkably like crime novelist Ed Gorman) can’t save things. Englund seems embarrassed by what he’s doing and Forsythe utterly lacks his usual vaguely unhinged demeanour. Any film that manages to waste such unique performers must be doing something very wrong indeed.


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