Thursday 29 September 2022

REVIEW: The Infernal Machine (2022) - Starring Guy Pearce, Alice Eve, Jeremy Davies and Alex Pettyfer

Review by Jon Donnis
The last time I saw Guy Pearce he was making a cameo in the last ever episode of Australian soap Neighbours, well he is back in a feature film called The Infernal Machine, sadly this is not some sci-fi film about erm.. an erm.. Infernal Machine, no that is the name of a book written by a reclusive author Bruce Cogburn, (played by Guy Pearce).

Cogburn has been living alone for years after a book he released inspired Dwight Tufford (Alex Pettyfer) to kill 13 people in a school shooting, he did so using a rifle while positioned on a clock tower, we learn of the tragic events through a news report. Cogburn hasn't written a book since the tragic events.

Despite living in the middle of nowhere, with no phone and no television, Cogburn starts receiving letters from someone called William DuKent, DuKent is seemingly a crazed fan, and he starts sending more and more letters and parcels, and keeps managing to find Cogburn's location.

Cogburn seeks help from Officer Laura Higgins (Alice Eve), and she joins in on trying to find out about this DuKent chap, after things start to get weirder and weirder.

Throw in flashbacks to Cogburn's younger days as a professor, and him giving lectures and talking to his student Elijah Barett (Jeremy Davies), and we soon learn the impact that his book being the influence for a school shooting had on him.

Now of course this is a thriller, so we need some twists and turns, as well as Cognurn going from quiet recluse slightly annoyed by some fan mail, to a paranoid man ready to shoot anyone in the head if they get too close to his house and we have a rather interesting film.

The Good
A strong plot point leads to an interesting film, Guy Pearce is an excellent actor, and he is onscreen for most of the film and he does carry it. When the twists and turns do come, they aren't too obvious, and are delivered well.

The Bad
At about 1 hour 47 minutes before credits, the film feels a little long and drags in parts, I also found certain bits confusing, and I feel like certain elements were not explained well enough, although a second viewing might help that.

If the film was cut by 17 minutes to get it to a nice 90-minute total, and perhaps a better explanation of some of the main twists, then this film would have been better, as it is though, I did enjoy it, and found Guy Pearce to once again carry a film on his back to a higher level than it would have been without him.

I score The Infernal Machine a fair 7/10

Out now on Amazon Prime -