Incantation Movie Review, Taiwanese horror film

Movie Review 

  In the Taiwanese horror film Incantion, Lee Ronan (Tsai Hsuan-yen) is one of three videographers who use film to debunk paranormal myths. But when the group encounters a mysterious cult guarding a secret tunnel, their exploration has dangerous consequences for those close to Ronan, especially his daughter Dodo (Huang Sin-ting). 

 Directed by Kevin Ko and co-written by Ko and Chang Che-wei, Incantion is a spoof horror film presented as Ronan’s found footage. What begins as a wholesome video project depicting Ronan’s reunion with the daughter he gave up six years ago soon turns into a chilling paranormal investigation.

  Something bad is affecting the dodo. Ronan’s camera captures images of terrifying events, images often so brief that we don’t know what to fear. But at least we know how to be afraid. As frustrating as the ambiguity of this shooting style is, it still manages to be attractive. 

 And it’s not just because you’re squinting to catch every gory detail. Ronan’s framing of his videos turns viewing into an interactive experiment. We are watching, he tells us, to save his daughter. “How” is a mystery that will be revealed throughout the course of the film.

  Getting to the truth at the heart of Incantion is a bit of a difficult journey. Presenting the story as a mystery to be solved, Ko and Chang’s approach is to drop vague (albeit unsettling) hints of a terrible curse… only to resolve the questions they raise almost all at once, in a significant data dump. 

 They retain their revelations with a clever twist, driven and heightened by Incantation’s compelling and emotional family drama.


  The core of this heart-stopping Taiwanese horror cuts deeper than a supernatural curse. It is in the tender exploration of a mother’s love for her daughter. The loving relationship between Ronan and Dodo and the threat of their drifting apart adds a whole new dimension to Fear of Growth, making the film a unique, if amateurish, entry into the horror genre.

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