Incarnate is Brad Peyton‘s first horror movie. He has earned considerable fame for directing a number of action-adventures starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, including ‘ Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’ and ‘San Andreas’. with Blumhouse Productions and WWE Studios. Incarnate focuses on Dr. Seth Ember (Aaron Eckhart), who goes on a path of retribution against a malevolent and parasitical species after it causes the deaths of his wife and son. The film has ample jump scares and mind-boggling twists to keep the us involved throughout. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Incarnate Plot Synopsis
Since the deaths of his wife Anna (Karolina Wydra) and son Jake (Emjay Anthony) in a road accident, Ember has been searching for the entity responsible, known simply as Maggie (after the old woman whose body it was possessing during the crash) to him and his two partners, Oliver (Keir O’Donnell) and Riley (Emily Jackson). He has evicted (as he calls it instead of “exorcise” as he believes that it has less religious connotation) numerous similar but lesser entities. One day, he gets to know from the Vatican representative Camilla Marquez (Catalina Sandino Moreno) that Maggie has possessed an 11-year-old boy named Cameron Sparrow (David Mazouz). Amazed at first, the moment Ember sees the boy and speaks to the entity, he realizes that Camilla is right.
Swinging between his desire for revenge and the concern for the boy’s safety, Ember uses his paranormal qualities to dive deep into Cameron’s consciousness to exempt it from Maggie’s traps. Although his first attempt fails, he realizes that Maggie has a command on Cameron’s mind through the memories he made with his estranged father, Dan (Matthew Nable). Now, Ember must find a way to persuade Cameron that what he is experiencing is not real, but an image from his own memories that the entity has created to keep him engaged while it feeds on his aura or soul (the film describes it as a cluster of ions that vibrates in different frequencies for different people).
After he tried to liberate Cameron with Dan’s aid ends in the latter’s death, Ember decides to enter in the young boy’s mind again and finds a ring that is pernally valuable for him from his mother Lindsay (Carice van Houten). He also gets a bottle of poison from the home of his previous mentor. Made from the possessed’s blood, it can give 10 seconds of lucidity during a possession so a person can take his own life. After he dives again into Cameron’s brain, he finds himself at a carnival. Obviously like his prior experience, this projection is also based on one of the boy’s precious memories with his father. Despite the abuse he has suffered in Dan’s hands, Cameron still misses him, which probably has helped Maggie to strengthen its grip on his mind.
Maggie Invades Ember’s Mind
Although he manages to assure Cameron that whatever he is experiencing is unreal by showing him the ring and helps him get back full control over his body. Maggie manages to invade Ember’s own psyche and creates a utopia where all that he faced since the accident are part of a long dream that he was having while in coma. In this image of perfect world, his wife and son are still alive, and he isn’t wheelchair-bound. Despite the authenticity and promises of this projection, it comes apart for Ember the moment he sees that time has been frozen, one of the indicating signs of a possession-induced reality. As he battles with Maggie inside his head, Riley injects the poison into his bloodstream. In a few consecutive moments of clarity, he jumps from the window and falls several stories down. However, Ember seems to have survived the fall and is later restored in an ambulance on its way to the hospital.
Is Ember Dead?
As the final scene shows, clearly what comes back is not Ember. He died soon after he hit the footpath. Since his body was revived, he did not succeed in permanently evicting and killing Maggie. The film vividly creates the rules of the world it is portraying through several expositions and shows what will happen if they are not followed.
Touching a possessed is forbidden because in that way the entities can travel from one consciousness to another. The only way to kill them is to evict them and then deprive them of any other host. Maggie takes command of Dan’s body and kills him after Cameron gets a grip of his father’s arm. In Ember’s case, it is considerable that it can use the mental connection between him and Cameron to get to his mind. Although Ember surrenders himself so he can kill it, he stays awake longer than 10 seconds after landing on the ground, and Maggie takes over the body. So, whom the paramedics end up bringing back is Maggie.
What Happens to Camilla?
Camila joins Ember as the paramedics take him to the hospital. She even asks them to use the defibrillators once again on their patient. The final shock works, and there is a pulse. What Camila is unaware of is that Ember has died on the street. So, when Maggie asks her to give it her hand, she happily agrees. And the parasite switches from Ember to Camilla. The former dies, while the latter’s eyes turn a shade of black. Maggie knew that the husk that was Ember’s body would not be much habitual to it. As the original owner is dead, it would gradually rot and wither away. But now, it has a healthy host on whom it can feed on a long course.
On top of it, the possession of Camilla gives it a distinct opportunity to infiltrate the Catholic Church itself. While it is obvious in the film that these beings are not exclusive to any faith, religious artifacts such as a cross seem to nonetheless hurt them. Maggie can now corrupt the Church from the inside and topple one of the powers that have been in war with its kind for thousands of years.