There’s A Netflix Horror Movie That’s Freaking People Out On TikTok, So I Watched It…And Barely Finished


Death. Taxes. Me watching horror movies weekly. Some things in life are just a given.

meme of me looking at this week's horror movie while last week's horror movie is jealous

Antonio Guillem Fernandez / Alamy

So, when I found this TikTok with 13 million views that challenges people to watch Netflix’s latest horror movie, Incantationand not get scared, I had to jump at the opportunity:

Here’s the Netflix description for Incantation:

“Six years ago, Li Ronan was cursed after breaking a religious taboo. Now, she must protect her daughter from the consequences of her actions.”

So, according to the user’s challenge, if I do any of the following when I watch the movie, I lose:

1. Skip a scene.

2. Get jump scared.

3. Look away.

You’re probably wondering: How scary is Incantation? Let me tell you about my midnight viewing:

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Content warning: This post contains mentions of self-harm and suicide. Also, if you have trypophobia, some of the images here might be disturbing.

The movie follows a mother, Rona, who films interactions with her daughter, Dodo, as they’re reunited for the first time since “an incident” six years ago.

a mother and daughter laugh at a restaurant

Netflix

She advises us (the audience) to pray with her and bless her daughter, who has been in foster care since “the incident.” Of course, things don’t go well, as both Rona and Dodo begin to experience supernatural occurrences.

A woman with a bloody nose

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The first 30 minutes of the film weren’t terribly different from any other horror movie. It played into some of the same familiar clich├ęs you tend to see a lot. Girl under a sheet, possessed people, and random loud noises trying to make you jump.

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Throughout the film, we hear chanting and see symbols that are very trippy. This detail was a very original way to disorient the audience and almost make us feel more involved.

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As we learn more from Rona’s past, we get more disturbing imagery. I can see why many people would have found themselves looking away from certain shots, like these creepy (double decker?!) teeth:

A mouth with two rows of teeth

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This film really leaned into trypophobia horror, which I kind of appreciated as a horror fan. Trypophobia is the fear of patterned holes, so the most obvious example is hole-patterned plants or shower heads.

An arm of a corpse has many small holes in it

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My biggest gripe with the film is that it jumps back and forth a lot between six years ago when Ronan first witnessed the horrors of the religious shrine and the present happenings with her daughter dealing with the fallout.

A cloth with symbols on it

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We learn that, six years ago, Ronan, her boyfriend, and his cousin all filmed and interrupted a ritual. Ronan learned she is pregnant with Dodo. We learn that the clan makes sacrifices to their “Buddha-Mother.” All hell breaks loose with bodily possessions, blood, and some intense jump scares. We see a shrine tunnel collapse, and the rest of the footage is lost.

man screams

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Returning to the present, the end of the movie really goes off the rails in the best way. As far as jump scares go, only one moment got me…and man, I mean “heart fleeing out of my chest” got me.

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brace yourself:

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Anticipating the same “slow turn and charge at the camera” gimmick that the movie had already used earlier, my body was not ready for this jump scare.

I hate to say it, but by the rules of the TikTok challenge, this made me jump enough to gift me a big ol’ tasty “L.”

wifflegif / Giphy / Via giphy.com

Once I recovered from that scare, the story continues, and Ronan realizes she needs to go back to the shrine where all the horrors happened six years ago if she wants to save her sick, cursed daughter.

A mom and daughter in bed

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The film ends with Ronan finally confronting the Buddha-Mother, and we get more trypophobia imagery. Unfortunately, this leads to a possessed Ronan smashing her face on the altar until she kills herself.

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After, we are shown Dodo is back to full health and happily living her life, implying that Ronan confronting the Buddha-Mother broke the curse.

A girl smiles

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Overall, I thought the movie was solid. The story’s lore and lead actor Hsuan-yen Tsai carried the film. I would highly recommend this film to people who enjoy found-footage flicks and jump scares. I’d also give some other Taiwanese horror movies a shot like hospital and The Bridge Curse (a personal fav).

A woman stands in the dark with symbols all over her face

Netflix

I don’t have a TikTok, so H/T to notjustbored1214 for the movie suggestion and challenge. I’d love to see more horror movie challenges like this.

Will you watch Netflix’s Incantation? Is there a horror movie that had you looking away? Comment below!

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