As per usual, this is a review of the Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray release of Incubus, not a film review. If you are reading this, you probably already love Incubus but, in case you don't, this won't cover plot details or film quality. One note of importance, if you haven't seen the film, this review IS SAFE to read but DON'T read the back of the Blu-ray cover. On to the details....
In 2018, after many years of waiting, we finally have a Blu-ray release of John Hough's Incubus, fully intact and uncut, in the original aspect ratio, with a beautifully restored picture and fantastic audio. The restoration artists over at Vinegar Syndrome were able to use the original 35mm negative with only a few sections, here and there, in one reel of the film, requiring a print to be used as a stand-in, due to damage. I couldn't tell the difference in the few sections where the print was used, owing to the work they put into matching color and brightness, and, so found the transitions seamless. However, my closest friend said he was able to detect a slight difference in those moments, just so you are aware.
Having owned so many previous versions, including foreign and fan-traded copies, the digital version and the DVD from Scorpion, which was the best presentation ever available, until now, I can honestly say that this Blu-ray looks better than I ever believed this film could look. That is, again, owing to the efforts of the restorers. They didn't quit until the flaws, including lines and specs and color shifts, were corrected, allowing the film to retain grain while not appearing dusty or damaged or faded. The picture is on par with the best restorations I've seen from them and I highly recommend this version over all others.
As to sound, the film sounds as good as it ever has, to my ears, and is in keeping with what I heard on the Scorpion restoration, which used the best sound I had heard to that point but was not an HD presentation. This seems either the same or very slightly better and, again, represents the best sound available for this film.
Special Features abound, with the inclusion of two nearly half-hour interviews, one with the director and one with the cinematographer, and a twenty-minute interview with one of the several lead actors, an audio commentary and trailers. However, here, I must elaborate on the warning at the beginning of this review. I regret to inform you of the huge flaw with the release: The company titled that interview with the one person who acted in the film, who I will not identify, in such a way as to give away the plot.
To put it in other words, the title of one of the special features is a huge spoiler. As such, if you have not seen this film and have decided to purchase it based on recommendations, DON'T read the back of the Blu-ray package and DON'T load the special features menu until after you have watched the film.
The aforementioned is the kind of mistake that fans like me can make rather easily. When you have seen a film like this enough times, actors and the characters they play can become so closely linked that we can forget others don't have a clue which actor in the film would be playing what role, just by looking at them. The hero, the victim, the slasher in the slasher film, whoever it is, can end up so identifiable to us that we can forget there are others who don't know it all, just by looking at that cast list. I won't say which character the person plays but,I will say, try not to ruin it for yourself, if you have never seen the film.
Essentially, with the exception of the unfortunately spoilerific special feature title, a title appearing both on the back of the package and in the list of special features, this is the definitive edition of Incubus and I can't recommend it highly enough. I loved it. I was thrilled to see it. I hope that, if this is the one for you, you will enjoy it as much as I did.
Good luck finding a film that makes you happy.