"Possessed by Silliness and Overcome by Evil"
What You Need To Know:
INFERNAL is on the same level as an undergraduate student project. The cinematography, script and acting all leave much to be desired. Their subpar quality detract from the movie’s intent to create fear and suspense. Also, offensive language pervades nearly every scene. Clearly, the script has a premise focusing on good versus demonic evil, but good seems pretty powerless against the demonic forces in this low-budget horror movie. Foul language, violence, occult sensibilities, and lack of quality make INFERNAL nearly unwatchable and unacceptable.
(OO, C, B, HH, AbAb, LLL, VVV, S, A, DD, MM) Strong occult worldview about demonic forces possessing a young girl, mitigated by an acknowledgment that the supernatural exists and a Catholic priest calls on God and Michael the archangel for protection against evil, but most characters ignore any sort of morality and even say they don’t believe in God or the supernatural, plus the father rebuffs the priest’s efforts to help, which leads to the demonic forces winning; at least 120 profanities and obscenities, multiple crude references to male and female private parts, parents curse in front of children, urinating image, character talks about a picture of a child pooping in the bathtub; a scene of very strong violence and some strong violence includes girl is found standing outside with blood on her, intense scene of natural childbirth, demonic voices and laughs are heard in multiple scenes, women scream in multiple scenes, a woman is mysteriously injured with blood pooling from between her legs, mysterious Greek writing is found on girl’s head after parents shave off her hair, girl crawls into parents’ bed and uses a hammer to smash her mother’s head in her sleep and kills her, man finds his wife’s dead body in bed next to him and removes her bloody corpse, man is killed by an invisible demonic hand; it’s implied unmarried couple lives together and is getting pregnant out of wedlock, references to sex during conversation, “whore binges” are mentioned, gnomes in a yard are arranged in a position that suggests sex, father brings up “clown porn” to entertain children at a birthday party; some wine drinking at dinners and alcohol served at a wedding; character talks about using drugs and asks other characters if they do; and, married couple yells curse words and hateful speech at each other in multiple scenes, parents fight in front of children, friends act disrespectfully to each other in several scenes, parents spy on their daughter instead of seeking proper help for her behavior, man asks children at a party if they are drunk, and girl shows no remorse for murdering her mother.
INFERNAL is another horror movie about demonic possession, this time about a little girl whose demonic possession threatens her parents. INFERNAL is a low-budget horror movie that’s impossible to take seriously, with lots of foul language and another story where the demonic forces succeed.
As the movie opens, an unmarried couple, Nathan and Sophia, are planning to move into a new house that Nathan has built. Sophia tells Nathan she’s pregnant and suggests that they marry. Nathan is taken off guard, but proposes to her. As soon as he does, it’s clear that the consequences of the pregnancy and marriage will be dire. Unseen by the couple, the crucifix on their wall begins to twist in a strained circle pattern while distorted music sets the tone.
The two celebrate their wedding, and then the birth of their baby girl, Imogene. Cut to a few years later, as the family is on their way to a birthday party for one of Imogene’s friends. Friends are difficult for Imogene to come by since she was taken out of school due to her strange behavior. For example, she’s obsessed with combing her hair for an unknown reason, but all of the experts have chalked it up to autism. Nathan and Sophia do everything they can to help their daughter, even attending therapy to get ideas on how to cope. The therapist suggests filming their household all the time to catch some of Imogene’s behavior when they’re not there.
As Nathan reviews some of the footage, he notices some disturbing images, but his wife will have none of it. She thinks their daughter is broken, which deeply upsets Nathan. It is a cause of contention between them throughout the entire movie.
As Imogene’s behavior grows increasingly more alarming, Nathan and Sophia break down, unable to fix the problem. Sophia’s mother suggests that the problem is spiritual and not psychological. She brings in a priest to talk to Imogene, and he immediately notices the evil that has taken over her. He urges Sophia and Nathan to let the church get involved, but Nathan isn’t a religious man and wants no part. It ends up being a huge mistake to ignore the priest’s advice, because the worst-case scenario comes true.
INFERNAL is on the same level as an undergraduate student film project. The director chose to shoot his movie from the characters’ point of view (ala BLAIR WITCH) since they are using cameras to film their lives as part of the therapy. There are plenty of off-kilter angles to contribute to the unease of the audience. The cinematography leaves much to be desired, but the script itself leaves much more.
Countless horror movies have had nearly the same plot: a young girl is possessed and must be helped by a priest before she kills everyone. Infernal could be used to describe the plot of this movie as it meanders endlessly without much exposition or progression. The dialogue tends to be either too lofty to be realistic, or is so poor that the actors seem to be stumbling through their words. This brings up another problem: the acting. None of the actors are convincing, but given the script, it’s not difficult to understand why.
Everything adds up to a high level of ridiculousness that makes it impossible to take this movie seriously…right down to the fake demonic hand that caresses Imogene in the last scene.
What jumps out the most about INFERNAL is the foul language. There are at least 120 obscenities and profanities. Every other sentence contains one (or several). Even worse, the parents curse in front of their young daughter and also to each other in the heat of their many fights. At times, the parents turn almost childish as they argue. Though they claim to love Imogene, their petulant behavior comes across as selfish and ignorant. Poor Imogene can never expect to get the help she needs with all the adults around her acting frantic, cursing and acting as if they don’t have a clue about what to do.
INFERNAL doesn’t have as much violence as one would expect, but there is one particularly violent scene where Imogene brutally kills her mother while she’s sleeping. It’s actually amazing that her father didn’t wake up while his wife was being murdered in the bed right next to him. Imogene later shows no remorse for what she did.
The topic of demonic possession and INFERNAL’s depictions of demons moving in the dark while hearing their voices may be very disturbing to some people. Besides the abundant foul language, the movie shows the forces of good pretty powerless when it comes to standing up against the forces of Satan. Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® finds INFERNAL inappropriate entertainment for all viewers.