BY JOHN REED
SC Staff Writer
On Sunday March 16, the Pocono Community Theater screened the controversial film “Infliction” with startling results.
Considered a horror flick, or dark drama depending on your definition, it follows the first-person filming by two brothers, John and Kenneth Stiles. These brothers chronicle their murder spree in North Carolina and the stark truth behind their actions.
This movie was written, directed, and produced by the award-winning Jack Thomas Smith.
Smith’s unique approach to filming “Infliction” allowed for him to get creative in describing the film’s contents.
By filming via first-person, Smith is able to flesh out his characters by bringing his audience a behind-thescenes look into a scary “what if” scenario.
The film opens with two seemingly ordinary brothers going about their daily lives.
In the span of a single phone call their world is turned upside down and the murders begin to pile up.
Watching this unspeakable violence unfold, it is hard follow their reasoning, but the intimate nature with which we get to interact with these two men allows unfettered access to their psyches.
One of the most interesting points about this film is the darkly interesting way in which Smith questions people’s actions and their inevitable effects upon those around them.
What seems like a random murder spree to us is actually a very calculated response by the Stiles brothers for their unusual upbringing.
Justice is blind, but vengeance becomes the brother’s guiding light.
This intense brutality continues to build as John and Kenneth mete out judgment left and right.
Just as it seems that Smith writes the brother’s doom, and an end to all the supposedly needless violence, we arehit with an intense climax that brings the story full circle in a very intimate way.
Overall, Jack Thomas Smith hits a homerun with Infliction. The back story elements to the murders lends a certain credence to the reality of what we are witnessing.
If you are looking for a unique spin in the horror genre with an all-too realistic feel, this undoubtedly should be your choice.
The next screening of “Infliction” is April 5 in New York City at Anthology Film Archives.
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