Oh no! It’s been like over a month since we’ve done found footage!! I guess it’s time to bounce back on the bumpy bandwagon and boast about this beauty, Infernal. Written and directed by Bryan Coyne with production help from his broseph Shawn, Infernal gives absolute horrific insight into the lives of honest-as-fuck husband and wife Nathan & Sophia (played by Andy Ostroff and Heather Adair) as they try to navigate daily life as parents of an autistic girl. Oh that’s it, you ask? Yeah, right. Their daughter Imogene has something far more sinister going on inside of her than what meets the eye…like Transformers but with way more Satan. Nathan and Sophia will soon learn their own breaking points as they fight for their daughter and some sense of normalcy they’ve so longed for.
I have to say, I am highly impressed with this film on a number of levels, the details of which can be best described by me in good ol’ bullet-style format. I know…it’s been a hot minute since we walked this way hasn’t it?!
· Firstly, I give hats off to Bryan for entirely effective and believable writing. There aren’t many worse things than watching a found footage horror with dialogue that reeks of farfetchedness and poorly executed lines. This is probably where most FF films fail (and why critics dish so hard on them), but certainly not in the case of Infernal. From the moments of wedding reception testimonials to the everyday banter that Nathan and Sophia share so earnestly and comically, I truly witnessed both great creativity on the writer’s part and flawless chemistry between Ostroff and Adair. Boom. Casting wins as well!
· Alyssa Koerner (Imogene) was effectively creepy without trying so damn hard to be. She played the part so well and so nonchalantly that I was 100% creeped out with every comb of her hair or word that she murmured.
· Undoubtedly, Coyne taps into something so close to home and so devastatingly real for many families out there: autism. Of course, it’s a great vehicle by which to deliver such a believable story, but kudos for taking such a risk. What…are he and Adam Robitel competing or something?! Jesus.
· As brutal and terrifying as some of these scenes were, so were there moments of such a wonderfully endearing nature. The relationships created not only between Nathan and Sophia, but also between Nathan and Imogene are so tangible that I absolutely couldn’t help being emotionally invested in everything that happened. It’s rare for a horror film to show such juxtaposition, but I loved every moment of it.
· Lastly, my thoughts on the graphics and sound effects. Bottom line? I loved the fact that the film used practical special effects as opposed to any sort of CGI or variant thereof. For me, that approach will ALWAYS win. The sound effects are a double edged sword, I suppose. I’ll be honest. They bordered cheesy at some points. That said, and I can’t quite put my finger on it as to why, it totally worked. I bought in with only a moment’s hesitation. More impressively, the fact that he took a huge risk and allowed the evil entity to actually speak AND be seen….I loved it. No one ever bothers to do that. I guess merely the presence of such a menacing creature is enough for some, but with Infernal I got all the visual stimulation I needed and a terrific audible side dish to boot. Bryan, I’m good-game’ing you right now, buddy.
· The hammer. Intro to Cannibal Corpse.
· As stated before, the sound effects were at times something I had to consciously get over, but once I did, it was smooth sailing.
· They made quick work of fast forwarding the story by 8 or so years. It was enough that I said to myself “Woah, what just happened?”, but it was short lived and within a few moments I was totally ok with the advancement in time. Where’d they get those 1.21 jiggawatts, anyway?!
· I’m a new father. This immediately freaked me out and obviously made me ask myself what I’d do in a situation like this. Then I got super mad at the Coyne’s for making me question that craziness, peeked over at the baby monitor to find my son sleeping and not combing his hair, and my rage subsided. Crisis averted.
The end, people! I loved it! No further explanation needed. Trust me on this. It's unforgettable.
I hope my review has convinced you all that on April 10th when this baby hits VOD everywhere, you won’t even THINK about hesitating. As for me, I’m going to throw down a potent 7 cleavers for this movie, and then I’m going to bug the Coyne’s to find out when we may see some dvd or bluray distribution. I’m gonna need this one.
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