Infliction (DVD)

Some found footage should be never be unearthed.

John (Jason Mac) and Kenneth (Elliott Armstrong) Stiles are on a murderous mission of revenge, and they plan on filming the whole spree for posterity. They begin picking off all who have done them wrong one by one, hoping it will free them from a past that has haunted them since childhood.

Infliction is a found footage film — yes another one — and because there are so many of these types of movies, they have to be pretty darned good to stand out from the pack. Unfortunately for Infliction, it’s not very good at all. Acting is its weakest link, and that coupled with a subpar script results in a very long evening. I appreciated what the filmmakers were trying to do with this tale of two brothers abused horribly by their parents, then removed from the home only to be sent back by a system that didn’t seem to care. It even makes sense that the brothers would want to seek revenge on the people that could’ve rescued them from the cruelty they had to endure. But writer/director Jack Thomas Smith’s script is unfocused, and often times seems unintentionally improvised.

The Brothers Stiles went on a ‘killer’ road trip, and in order to fully capture the experience, placed cameras all over their SUV, while Kenneth sat in the passenger’s seat with a hand-held camera. This was a smart way to explain why we could see them from every corner of the vehicle, but all it got us were endless scenes of the brothers scowling at the road ahead and pointless shots of John and Kenneth silently driving to their next crime scene — at least we could see them from several angles.

If you love a movie where every other scene has a character monologuing, than Infliction is the film for you. It’s like a series of monologues strung together to make one long film. There was more talking than revenging (and yes, this is a legit word); maybe the plan all along was to talk so much that their victims would want to die in order to avoid any more speeches. Monologues can work in small doses, but the deliverer must be a gifted actor in order to pull it off — which sadly is not the case here.

Jason Mac plays older brother John, and he is the more talented of the two; at least he attempts to show some kind of emotional range. Elliott Armstrong, however, continually looks out of his element. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt though, because most of his onscreen time has him wandering through each scene with a handheld camera stuck to his face. This must’ve distracted him from his main job of acting, because his performance is stiff and wooden. When all is said and done, B>Infliction just goes on for far too long without saying or doing much of anything.

Infliction is a standard 1.85:1 widescreen release, with surprisingly crisp images, especially considering it is shot in that shaky cam style of the found footage genre. The Dolby stereo audio provides easy to hear the dialogue. The only extra is a video by a band called Purple Pam & The Flesh Eaters. While the song is horrible, you may get some enjoyment watching this cheesy throwback to ’80s rock ‘n’ roll.

Found footage movies are a dime a dozen. With the array of options audiences have today, films as bland and meandering as Infliction will quickly fall by the wayside.


The Verdict



Tech Specs

Infliction (DVD)
2014, Virgil Films, 106 minutes, NR (2014)
VIDEO: 1.85:1 AUDIO:  Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English) SUBTITLES: None

Alice is a stay-at-home wife and mother on the brink of insanity as she and her husband raise a brood of 3 overly emotional girls on a modicum amount of sleep, and even less peace and quiet. Having spent most of her life in the now bankrupt state of California, she and her husband moved to a place where the cotton's high and the livin' is easy, where a simpler way of life is king. With chickens to feed and projects to complete on property that has been in her husband's family for over 50 years. On top of that Alice cohosts a podcast called A Creative Mind where she narrates her flash fiction stories, as well as writing flash fiction stories for a literary journal called Short Fiction Break. Alice enjoys the little down time she manages to eke out each day to write and unwind. "Bad TV and awful movies make me mad," she said, and once you read her reviews you'll see exactly what she means by that.
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