What was that screaming at the far end of that corridor? It is too dark to see properly, but what else can it be than an escaped and criminally insane murderer? After all, just a couple of minutes ago the asylum that is the setting for this film suffered from a power outage. Now every inmate is on the loose. This is not good. This is not good at all. For the main characters of this story at least, because they get to walk down the next corridor without really knowing what is waiting there for them. Or who… Debuting helmer Alexandre Courtes treats his audience to a claustrophobic, scary and thoroughly nasty experience. Best wear your gloves to the theatre if you value your fingers. You will bite your nails straight to the bone.
At the kickoff of The Incident prison cook and bandleader George has to deal with nothing more than his whining friends who are a bit jealous of his girlfriend situation. They are afraid George is going to quit the band in the name of love. George is a bit scruffy, but a nice fellow in general. He might be like you or me and especially like me if we take in the possibility of him successfully fighting off a dozen or three madmen with improvised weaponry in a dark and sealed asylum. Chance of survival: practically zero. It’s this premise that makes this horror downright scary. This could happen to anyone. Worse: it could happen to you.
But that is only the premise. Then there are the sounds, yes, the horrible sounds of agonizing screaming, maniacal laughter, the sound of iron scraping against a wall and other types of noise you really don’t want to hear when you are in this situation. The sound design of The Incident acts as an unseen character lurking in a distant shadow. Most of the times. When it creeps up close there will be pain. And that is the second forte of The Incident, because the violence is gruesome before anything else (beware of horrible understatement). Courtes chooses not to turn away the camera when a guy gets pierced by a metal bar, or when someone gets bound and burned on a large gas powered cooking stove. You might want to look away at times. It’s probable you might want to, but cant. Which makes The Incident a thrill overall. The main villain is so scary he can even be funny at times, but your laughter will die out. Quite literally.