Bryan Coyne’s “Infernal” is a well crafted blend of traditional and found footage horror. The film stars Andy Ostroff, Heather Adair, Alyssa Koerner, Jose Rosete, Noelle Bruno, Elizabeth Stahl, John Zion and Sara Winter. The story revolves around a middle class couple starting out with their first child. A child touched by evil, nurtured for something great and sinister. “Infernal” takes on classic devil child storylines, contemporary faith-based superstitions and a heavy dose of the “decline of the American family” attitude.
The plot is a well constructed, nicely written story that creates a pretty dark nightmare. The found footage has plausibility with the whole camera situation added in at the behest of a family therapist. So that aspect of “Infernal” seems solid enough. The film doesn’t stay found footage, moments of tradition third-person POVs are thrown in sparingly. Mostly when the film takes a more dramatic, emotional pause to allow for the full heft of the situation to settle in with the audience. It does a good job too! Overall the film is acted and directed nicely. The production is above basic, with a higher quality of HD camera footage mixed in thanks to the father’s new obsession with the “family exercise”.
The special effects are mixed bag, both in gimmick and in effect. The higher production quality follows through in these paranormal aspects of “Infernal” but do not give intended chills or thrills that the director is aiming for. Most scenes of the malevolence come off more like a Halloween horror commercial for Meijer's or some Haunted house attraction. It is done with things most of us possess in storage to be brought out on our favorite holiday. So that was disappointing. That being said, the last third of this nightmare is truly affective in both dramatic and emotional effect. A totally disturbing slice of paranormal horror.
Overall “Infernal” is not the best that paranormal horror or found footage possession flicks offer. Plus I felt there was a deeper spiritual agenda at work in the story, as if this was one of those Church-backed horrors meant to cause the audience to question their own spirituality in hopes to gain new members to Christianity or something along those lines. Anyway, everything seen in this film has been seen to death in this subgenre. But do keep in mind that I think the last act of “Infernal” is some of the most powerfully moving, deeply disturbing, in your face horror footage in indie horror. It is dark and intense, too bad this sucker didn’t catch that bug from the beginning. (note-For me the last act begins once you move past the “gold lame-ish looking disco demon’).