This also happens to be one of the main areas where Infliction could have used a bit more work. The first half of the film is a real slog to get through; you have very little idea of the exact reasons behind the brothers’ actions, and many of the scenes feel unnecessarily drawn out.
There is one particular scene in which the two brothers have a conversation with a barmaid about whether people are genetically predisposed to be good or bad. The scene is intended to try and show some reasoning for the crimes the brothers commit, but it just feels forced and unnecessary.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only scene that feels this way, which results in the film taking quite a while to get going. A good 30 minutes could have been cut without harming the core of the plot at all, while making it flow far better.
The acting in Infliction is definitely a bit wooden at times, which makes scenes that are supposed to be impactful a little hard to take seriously. The final confrontation between the brothers and their parents should have been moving and emotional, but it just didn’t manage to muster the sort of emotional response from me that better actors might have been able to.
It could very well be that Infliction is simple a film that should have been something else. Much of the acting feels stage-like in its execution, and many of the scenes might have been more interesting on stage.
As for the 'found-footage' perspective, this is something that could have been dropped from the film entirely without damaging the story whatsoever. As it is assembled footage, it does not quite fall into the same category as say The Blair Witch Project, which is much rawer by comparison. Infliction is far more polished, but still within the realms of 'found-footage'.
The result is a strange middle-ground and a film that doesn’t seem able to decide quite what it wants to be; too rough to be cinematically pleasing, but too polished to be a ‘proper’ found-footage flick. A few other films have fallen into this troublesome territory, and it just feels like Infliction should have chosen to go one way or the other instead of sitting in the middle - either embrace the raw, amateur feel or give it a proper cinematic style.
Infliction certainly has a great story at its core, but it is let down by the acting and sluggish pacing. It would be very interesting to see it converted to a stage performance, as it just feels like it doesn’t work as a film. The story is there, it just hasn’t been realised in the right way.
Click here to read our exclusive interview with Infliction writer/director, Jack Thomas Smith.
By Ross Wildish - 8th October 2014
There’s nothing quite like a good old revenge story, and at its core, that’s what Infliction is.
The film is touted as being made from ‘actual assembled footage’ of the murder spree of two brothers in North Carolina. Their grisly murders and their motives have been put on screen for the world to see.
First and foremost, Infliction advertises itself as ‘actual assembled footage’ - the implication being that this isn’t just footage collected together, but edited to fit a purpose. The two brothers aimed to make a documentary about their story, and so the footage is edited to reflect that.