Infrared (2022) Film Review | Movie-Blogger.com- Armessa Movie News

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It isn’t very common to find a found footage film that calls for drama. In fact, seldom do horror films address any kind of dramatic leverage that enhances the experience by broadening their characters’ emotional angle. This is quite ironic, as horror films with a hint of drama tend to be called “elevated”, and people look at those with curiosity. As for me, I hate the term.

Infrared is an indie found footage flick that doesn’t go for the usual with a fixed menu of jump scares, disturbing images, and idiotic characters who need to keep shooting. Sure, it complies with some of these rules, but directors Robert Livings and Randy Nundall Jr. undeniably go for a change in the backstory that supports their characters. Curiously, it tends to be more important than expected. In times where changes are often admired risks, Infrared has a plot style that puts it higher than its excessively similar peers.

In Infrared, the producers of a paranormal investigation show have found a great location to shoot. The star of the show is eager to start, but the producers have an idea. They bring along his sister, who has some sort of psychic connection that they can use in the show. The thing is the siblings share a history that they’ve always kept in the past. He tries to move on, but she’s trapped in that memory.

And yes, the place seems to be haunted. And found footage shows up as a genre that stays secondary to a dark exploration of a relationship between siblings that have a very shady past.

As I previously mentioned, it does have some found footage gimmicks for horror fans looking for their fix. But Infrared doesn’t stay in a horror film comfort zone that shows what we expect. There’s a gravity brought up by the lead characters that makes the film a bit more interesting than the average horror film where you expect ghouls to appear out of nowhere. This time the ghouls are a bit more grounded, and they still awake a sense of rejection by viewers.

This multilayered plotline wouldn’t be possible without Jesse Janzen and Leah Finity, who portray the siblings in a chaotic relationship. Janzen has to check a few marks of found footage tradition by being the horrible and greedy dude who needs to keep shooting and sacrifices everything for big bucks. But when it’s time to get real, Janzen steps up his game and becomes a very good performer who we start caring about. It was uncanny how he accomplished it.

And then Leah Finity, the biggest star and the greatest reason to keep watching. Finity’s performance is impressively real and honest. Her character reeks of trauma, but she doesn’t stay in a corner of tears and wailing. She wakes up to become a central piece to a story, and manages to dominate every scene she’s in. She’s mind-blowing in the film.

The best thing about Infrared’s story is how its third act turns a small horror film into something darker and definitely scarier. The directors do enough to make us trust them in the direction they’re taking, and then they turn the tables. Trust me, you won’t expect this. 

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Federico Furzan

Founder of Screentology. Member of the OFCS. RT Certified Critic

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