Genre fans are probably going to dig the hell out of The Incident, especially John Carpenter fans.
Here is a film I should have seen at last year’s edition of TIFF. I had a ticket for it and was ready to go. It would’ve been something like my 14th or 15th film of my visit. It was to be my fifth movie of that day, premiering at midnight on my second to last day. But after two movies on Friday, four on Saturday, four on Sunday and the two I saw on Monday, I was completely worn out and needed a break. So I decided to stay in that evening and get some rest as I still had three movies on my final day.
After finally seeing the film recently, I’m actually kind of glad I didn’t stick to my itinerary. That’s not to saying the film isn’t worth watching, I’m recommending the film for sure, but it isn’t a must see by any means. Genre fans are probably going to dig the hell out of The Incident, especially John Carpenter fans. This has his name written all over it. Hell, it even takes place in the 80’s, the prime era for Carpenter when he was knocking out cult classics one after another.
The Incident introduces us to a rock group working as cooks at a mental institution. During the day they cook up meals and at night they hit the studio to record. I found some humor in four long haired tattooed covered men taking their cooking seriously. One night, one of the band members forgets to show up for a recording. This causes a rift in the guys the next morning at work. Talk of how committed some members are arises.
The head cook and leader of the band, George (Rupert Evans), is asked by the head of security at the hospital to come in early one morning to get an early start as a special order is arriving bright and early. After his pleas fall to deaf ears, he caves in and agrees to come in. The order that arrives is a messy one. A man pulls a huge pallet in with wet boxes leaking blood. George grabs one of these boxes and what falls out consists of lots and lots of blood and guts. Of what species these belonged to I’m still not sure. Some people seem to think it was that of a human corpse, but I didn’t recognize a human skull in the pile.
Later that night a massive storm floats in and knocks out all the power. No lights. No power to any doors. No way out. Now the cooks have to fight to survive. As soon as the power goes out, security and the cooks band together to put inmates back into their cells. Everything is fine until a few bad hombres start to crack. After brutally murdering pretty much all of security force, the cooks find themselves with their backs against the wall. They now must survive the night until the police arrive which turns out to be longer than they expect.
Where The Incident succeeds is in its execution. The film is only 80 or so minutes long but the filmmakers do not hesitate to spend the first 20-30 setting up its characters and their setting to us. So when everything goes wrong, we are fully invested in the characters. The final hour of the film is filled with some great stuff. A lot of scenes consist of our heroes walking through the ward in complete darkness not knowing what shadows exist just feet away. Gore hounds get a few good kills, but nothing to write home about.
The Incident would work well as maybe a midnight double feature with an old Carpenter flick. Maybe Assault on Precinct 13 or maybe even Escape from New York. The film shares a strange kinship with fellow Midnight Madness film The Raid. Those two films back to back would be a hell of a night. Grab some friends and a 12 pack. Turn out the lights, turn up the volume and sit back and enjoy. The Incident is easily worth your time.