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In the small New England town of Galen, a young teenage boy claims he has dreams of young women being brutally raped and murdered. A doctor and the local sheriff discover that the boy's dreams are real and that a sinister occult might be behind the brutal murders. Written by
Marred by a problematic script, but still a minor gem
After the success of 'Halloween' in 1978, the Horror genre became a really big deal in Hollywood. The fact that it was made for so little money, but made so much inspired other upcoming filmmakers to make their own scary film. Of course, the consequence of this was a slew of imitations, but not all of them bad. Fortunately, there wasn't a major shortage of genre films about things other than masked killers. Films like 'Poltergeist' and 'Hellraiser' were breaths of fresh air back then and have really held up. Some films were also based on bestselling Horror novels, but the results would go either way. This little known effort based on the novel by the late writer Ray Russell, who also wrote a few screenplays like 'The Premature Burial,' is not a classic, but is certainly worth checking out if you want something different.
Pros: Good work from the cast. Unnerving score. Excellent direction by John Hough, a man who should've gone on to bigger and better things. Slow, steady pace. Some perfectly spooky locations, especially the library/museum. Eerie atmosphere. Some really frightening attack sequences. Great job on the minimal effects, which are convincing.
Cons: The biggest issue the film has is the script. It lacks focus, especially in the first half. As a result, some of the characters are underwritten. Also, the plot could have used some more fleshing out. A bit dated.
Final thoughts: 'The Incubus' has a lot going for it, but is stuck in an odd position. It's not a really intelligent Horror film like 'The Exorcist,' nor is it a silly b movie like 'The Slumber Party Massacre.' Instead, it's somewhere uncomfortable in the middle and that's too bad. With a strong, more layered script and a longer running time to allow things to better develop this could have been a classic. However, despite this it's actually a pretty good little chiller that's a must watch with the lights out.
My rating: 3.5/5
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