Echoing The Poughkeepsie Tapes, Jack Thomas Smith’s Infliction, falls short of any real scares. Like many found footage movies, Infliction’s claim to fame is the insistence that this is real footage. The film opens with a note that this is the recovered footage from the Stiles brothers rampage. In 2011, the two siblings went on a killing spree and filmed the entire thing.
Infliction is a dark look at what happens when we fail to do what is morally right because we either don’t want to get involved or don’t know how to navigate the bureaucracy of systems set in place. Infliction shows us how the boys upbringing shaped and molded them, in turn, eventually setting into place the decisions that they make to exact retribution. Unfortunately, Infliction lacked in its delivery. The clumsy found footage angles and production value (don’t get me wrong I love a found footage movie) were distracting. And the exchanges between the brothers weren’t particularly believable, making their interactions feel pretty much forced the whole way through. This dampened the concept and made the few scares pretty redundant.
Don Henderson Baker who played Joe Stiles gave the best performance by far. He played a very unappealing, uncaring, and cold-hearted individual with ease and I wanted him to be tortured, but he got off pretty lightly compared to some of the others.
Infliction shows the effects of our actions, or inactions, and the effect they have on others’ lives. Once you realize why they’re doing what they do, Infliction ends up being a movie about people justifying why they’re killing. The film’s one saving grace is that its premise is one that happens daily within the world and that may touch some of its viewers.
I am not usually this hard on a movie but I really found Infliction a chore to watch. It fails to execute the concept it runs with in any meaningful way and I sadly wouldn’t recommend it.
WICKED RATING: [usr 3]
Director(s): Jack Thomas Smith
Writer(s): Jack Thomas Smith
Stars: Jason Mac, Elliott Armstrong, Ana Shaw
Studio/ Production Co: Fox Trail Productions
Sub-Genre: Found footage