A young couple find their daughter behaving strangely and odd things occur around the house.
The innocence of a new born child is undoubtedly a wonder to behold. That is if you’re the child’s parent because for the rest of us we know that very soon the cooing parents will be reduced to whey faced shuffling zombies desperate for sleep having been kept awake all night by the tireless tirade of baby bawling and resigned to the knowledge that the future holds severe limitations on any social life and that any disposable income is relentlessly drained until the child finally leaves home.
‘Infernal’ is probably best described as the demonic version of a parents home video of their child but in the format of a found footage movie where, as a young couple move into their new home, Sophia ( Heather Adair) breaks the news to Nathan (Andy Ostroff) that they should get married as she’s pregnant. After a laborious and dull wedding video it abruptly cuts to the birth of their new baby girl, Imogene, and we follow her growing up over the coming years. As the baby becomes a young girl Nathan & Sophia become increasingly concerned about their daughter as her behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and unexplained phenomena occur both in and around the house.
But what no one has been crying out for is yet another found footage movie and director Bryan Coyne flies in the face of popular opinion and adds yet another to the heap of detritus that this genre has produced over the years. It’s a genre that is finding it increasingly difficult to make anything effective without falling into the usual traps. So we have the almost obligatory wonky angles, the lens flare, and so on but here there are so many contrived moments to justify the action being filmed that it just makes a mockery of itself. At one point a technically savvy and presumably ex film school graduate qualified demon picks up the camera and starts filming with it!! There are some utterly ludicrous moments – when hearing his daughter scream in the middle of the night Nathan doesn’t rush immediately to his daughter’s aid but pauses to pick up the camera and starts filming before going upstairs!
Much of the dialogue only makes it worse with a stand out line being, ‘Her hair is her life!’ Harold Pinter this is not. Combining filmed padding (a homemade pop video) and inevitably an unbearably squabbling couple the end just can’t come soon enough in this overlong film.
There are moments which are effectively creepy especially towards the end in a highly disturbing sequence involving the child with a hammer but this is a much unwanted addition to the genre.
Infernal! More like infuriating.
Words: Simon Hooper (@anygoodfilms)