'The Incident' AKA 'Asylum Blackout' is a low budget indie horror directed by Alexandre Courtès. It sits firmly halfway between the chiller/gore sub genre and I really enjoyed it.
Secret Santa always turns out some interesting gifts but somebody at work seems to know me quite well and managed to not only buy me a low budget horror that I had never ever heard of/seen, but also a low budget horror that is good! Secret Santa...thanks!!
The Incident is exactly that...the year is 1989 and a group of friends (George, Max and Ricky) are working as cooks at 'Sans Asylum', Washington, to try and earn some money to pay their way towards their dream to be musicians in a band. George is asked to get into work early one morning to accept a delivery, by J.B, the head security officer at the asylum. Later on while he is preparing the food with his colleagues a storm causes a power outage taking down the security system at the asylum, the shit has hit the fan! This is one place you do NOT want to be, with the criminally insane running amok.
The rest of the film plays out as a fight for survival with the odds truly stacked against the friends, there are elements of tension (it doesn't take a lot to be scary when you're walking down an asylum corridor with nothing but a torch as your friend and hearing the wailing of the insane echoing through the building) and there are also scenes of seriously brutal gore, the film is truly dark and the deaths stay true to the tone, they are sick!!
My initial gripe with The Incident is the ridiculous phone call that George has with the police...they have finally battled their way to one of the offices with an outside line and have seen some awful sights along the way but the call that follows is a cock slap to the effort of survival! Basically the outcome is the police will come but it might take up to an hour...............REALLY?!?!?! Now as with all horror you expect slightly ridiculous situations but we are talking about a high security asylum housing the criminally insane, George even states there's an officer down, the 5-0 would be all over that! This call would be priority and the boys in blue would be there in a heartbeat, more than likely sending armed units in heavy numbers!! Personally I would have just scrapped that from the script period, maybe just have the phone lines down full stop but there's an automatic police presence if no contact has been made to the local force within a couple of hours?
The only other problem is of course no thought was given to chef to security ratio...there's pretty much the same amount of cooks than what there is security for the whole asylum, ridonkulous!
Faults aside The Incident is still a strong entry in to the creepy asylum genre. I have heard complaints of just how dark the film is literally, but I feel this adds to the atmosphere, as with all chillers there could have been more squeaky bum moments, however it's definitely tense and you never really feel at ease throughout.
The ending of the film does have a form of twist which has been the topic of numerous debates across the net, it really does seem to be open to interpretation. Some people have ripped the film apart analysing every moment and scene to try and establish what it all means, personally I took it at face value and my understanding was that George has simply 'lost his shit' from the trauma of the whole night......call me simple minded if you will but it just seemed like the most obvious outcome. The writers have clearly left this as a debateable scenario and if you want to look into it further then why not! It could potentially keep longevity in the film and even provide more than a handful of watches!
Overall you could really find a worse way to spend a couple of hours of your night, The Incident is definitely an 'edge of the seat' experience, its dark, brutal and quite frankly a situation I never want to be in!