A few years ago, I worked with a college professor who said that the key to understanding creativity is to take two familiar things, combine them, and try to create some third new thing out of the process. That seems to be the idea behind Icarnate, Blumhouse Productions’ latest horror film. Take one part The Conjuring, one part The Cell, and sprinkle in a handful of familiar veteran actors, and what do you get? Hopefully a smart piece of counter-programming just in time for the the holidays.

While most people think of Blumhouse as a low-budget purveyor of genre films like Insidious, they have also put their name to some very impressive films outside of the horror genre, including 2014’s Whiplash and the 2013 prohibition thriller Lawless. This seems to be the kind of film more in keeping with their reputation, but while many of their movies don’t reinvent the wheel, they’re a steady force in a volatile genre.

Aaron Eckhart and Blumhouse Productions are also something of a perfect match. Eckhart might now be best known for starring in mediocre fluff like I, Frankenstein and Gerard Butler’s movies about shooting terrorists in the head, but he’s a fine actor with a handful of genuinely impressive titles to his name. Incarnate may not be the best thing that either studio or actor accomplishes in 2016  —  that would probably be In a Valley of Violence and Sully, respectively  —  but it’s still a nice collaboration between sleeper talents.

Here is the full plot synopsis for Incarnate:

Confined to a wheelchair after a horrific accident, Dr. Seth Ember (Aaron Eckhart) is an “Incarnate” — gifted with the rare ability to delve into the minds of possessed people in order to exorcise their demons from the inside out. When the Vatican enlists him to exorcise a particularly troubled young boy, Ember is shocked to discover inside him the same evil spirit responsible for the death of his wife and child years before. Now, with the young boy’s life in his hands and his own personal redemption at stake, Ember desperately searches for a way to destroy the demon before it kills him and unleashes its terror upon the world…

Incarnate will hit theaters on December 2, 2016.

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