What happens when you cross Paranormal Activity with The Omen? Nothing good, I assure you —
So, yeah. writer/director Bryan Coyne has offered up another low-budget indie “found footage” horror flick to largely bored and indifferent audiences with 2015’s risible Infernal, the story of hastily-married couple (she got knocked up, he popped the question, and they’ve never really gotten along since) Nathan (played by Andy Ostroff) and Sophia (Heather Adair), who are raising a possible demon-child named Imogene (Alyssa Koerner) and documenting the whole thing on home video. We’ve been down this road before —
The problems here are too numerous to count, but let’s just skim over the basics so you know what you won’t be getting into provided you take my advice and blow this sorry flick off : both parents are thoroughly unlikable and can’t seem to get through a sentence without saying “fuck” three times (which has me beat by two); the acting’s incredibly stiff and wooden from all principals involved; Coyne has obviously watched plenty of “hand-held horrors” but has apparently learned nothing from any of them in terms of what works and what doesn’t; the sound quality of the film is embarrassingly uneven and haphazard, with some scenes needing to be played at TOP VOLUME to hear anything while others sounds just fine at normal, human decibel levels; the “evidence” that something is “wrong” with the little girl seems to primarily stem from the fact that she combs her hair obsessively — need I go on? Because I really don’t want to.
And, hey, since it’s my goddamn blog, guess what? I don’t have to. Anyway, sooner or later they call in a priest to perform an exorcism, but the “success” of that endeavor is short-lived and sooner or later little devil-girl is back to combing her hair and generally acting sullen all over again. Apparently the conclusion we’re meant to draw from this is that These. People. Are. So. Fucking. Doomed. And they are — eventually. But nowhere near soon enough.
This film commits any number of cardinal sins against its viewers, to put it mildly, but the biggest of the bunch is that, at 99 minutes, it’s simply way too long. There are any number of things (like the interminable wedding scene early on) that Coyne could have excised to get this bloated beast down to fighting weight, but even then it would still suck — crucially, though, it would suck for a much shorter period of time, and having just sat through this mess last night, let me tell, that would have been very welcome, indeed.
I don’t take any pleasure whatsoever in trashing a film whose would-be auteur probably sank his life savings into getting made, but seriously : there’s a well-nigh infinite number of essentially “homemade” independent horror efforts that are filmed every year (some of which are quite good, and most of which are at least better than this) that never find any sort of distribution outlet no matter how hard the folks behind them might try; how and why Hulu ended up with this celluloid atrocity is just plain beyond my comprehension. Still, I’ll give Coyne and co. credit for truth in advertising — Infernal is exactly that.