"Incantation" (咒; Zhòu), a Taiwanese supernatural horror film from 2022, utilizes a found footage style and was directed by Kevin Ko. Ko also teamed up with Chang Che-wei to pen the screenplay. The film hit theaters in Taiwan on March 18, 2022, and achieved record-breaking success as the highest-earning Taiwanese horror film. Netflix took on international distribution duties, releasing it worldwide on July 8, 2022.
“Incantation,” a Taiwanese supernatural horror film, follows the story of Li Ronan, who is attempting to lift a curse from her daughter, Dodo. The film is uniquely narrated with an embedded call to action for the audience to memorize and chant an incantation meant to alleviate the curse. Six years ago, Ronan, her boyfriend Dom, and his cousin Yuan unintentionally violated a religious taboo while documenting an ancestral ritual for their video channel. Their transgression led to fatal consequences, stirring a malevolent entity referred to as Mother-Buddha, causing havoc and death.
Unknown to Ronan at the time, she was pregnant with Dodo. After giving birth, she left her daughter at a foster home while she sought psychiatric help. Fast forward to the present, Ronan is now in a better mental state and retrieves Dodo to live with her. However, strange phenomena start to happen in their house, and Dodo falls ill with a mysterious disease linked to the curse.
Ming, a supportive figure from the foster home, conducts further research into the esoteric religion, leading to the restoration of the previously damaged footage of the ancestral ritual. However, after watching the footage, Ming succumbs to madness, becoming possessed and eventually killing himself. Ronan, who receives a copy of the footage, learns that the incantation meant to spread the curse among those who recite it, thereby diluting its impact.
In a desperate attempt to save her daughter, Ronan returns to the altar inside the forbidden tunnel, reveals Mother-Buddha’s face on camera, and becomes possessed, ultimately leading to her death. The film concludes with footage of a healthy and content Dodo, suggesting that the viewers, who might have chanted the incantation, have now shared the burden of the curse.