The Infernal Machine (2022) Poster

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Mesmirizing script that kept me glued to the screen till the very last minute. Stellar acting performance by Guy Pearce.
imseeg26 September 2022
A fascinating and mesmirizing story about a (one hit) worldfamous writer, living secluded in the desert, who slowly looses his mind, when he gets stalked by anonymous letters, whose content reveals secrets that are only known to him. Is he in danger? And if so, who might be after him?

The good: this story kept me on the edge of my seat the entire movie. I HAD to know how it all would end and (for a change) it is not a disappointing plot turn which reveals what's the secret to this story. I would advice the reviewers NOT to read the other spoiler reviews by the way, because NOT KNOWING THE PLOT is really part of the suspsense.

More good: another stellar acting performance by Guy Pearce, who is terrific at portraying characters who are on the edge, who struggle mentally. Physically Guy Pearce looks like he has come out of a tumble dryer. He is at his wit's end, addicted to alcohol, living as a recluse in the desert, paranoid who is after him. This actor is always a guarantee for a solid acting performance.

Even more good: everything from photography, to sound, to editing is of the highest quality. I LOVE it when a movie looks the part!

Not any bad? This is a slowburning story and however mesmirizing it was to me, in this day and age of instant satisfaction youtube videos that dont last longer than a minute, some viewers might not be in the mood for a long, spun out story, which only reveals it's secrets until the very end. And what secrets they are!

So glad I stumbled upon this movie, because this is one of the best mystery movies I have seen these past months. What a joy to watch! BRAVO!
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A compelling watch with a surprise twist. Guy Pearce gives another amazing performance.
tashwat14 October 2022
The film tells the story of a one-hit-wonder writer, Bruce Cogburn, who now lives as a recluse in southern California following a mass-shooting incident where the shooter "blamed" his motive for the crime on Cogburn's book. Now 25 years on from the incident, Cogburn begins to receive a barrage of letters from an unknown source, leading to the question that carries the film; "who is sending all these letters?".

The answer isn't an obvious one and you are genuinely wondering right 'til the last act of the film, as it leads you down various different potential "suspects". You think the film is going to take you one way, then it takes a sharp turn in another, unexpected direction. The final twist is a good one...but the execution is a little laboured and indulgent.

The film has a relatively slow pace - don't expect big shoot outs and car chases, but keeps you gripped right through. Guy Pearce is on top form as usual, playing an alcoholic, paranoid hermit. How he manages to nail all these different accents is beyond me! He's accompanied by Alice Eve and Alex Pettyfer who give solid performances as well.

This is an intelligent thriller that is well written , well acted and well shot. Think along the lines of Stephen King's "Secret Window" with less psychopathy.

Watch the movie if you like the following:
  • Great acting from the lead
  • Clever writing
  • Good cinematography
  • Compelling plot
  • Twists and turns

Don't watch if you're expecting:
  • Gun shoot outs
  • Car chases
  • Fast pace
  • Over edited, over-choreographed fight scenes

The only downside is the very end, which I shan't spoil. It feels a little extravagant and is perhaps trying too hard to be prodigious.

The film certainly doesn't deserve the low ratings it has received, so don't be put off by it. Overall it is definitely worth a watch if you're in the mood for a good thriller that keeps you gripped, and if you're a fan of Guy Pearce - which you should be!
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Great concept, great acting, just didn't work
charlottebetteridge-9348123 September 2022
I don't quite know why this didn't work, but it wasn't gripping, the story was messy and was clunky. The acting was really good and I love the idea, but disappointing sadly. Some interesting twist, so not a complete flop, and whoever wrote it was clearly intellectual, just a bit of a dullard, or maybe that was the director? Had to tell.

Not as scary as I was hoping, as the advert made it look awesome. Maybe there weren't enough characters in the film? Sorry I can't quite put my finger on what the issue is here, but there we go.

I'd love to read some other reviews of this, so get posting! .....
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Guy Pearce is magnificent, shame about the film.
Boristhemoggy1 October 2022
I went into this with mixed feelings because Guy Pearce is a most accomplished actor and I love watching him. However, Alice Eve as co star said instantly 'B movie'.

So I was confused as to what was going to happen.

Sorry, I can't hold it in any longer. I hated this film!

It should have been a great story but the director tried to make it into surreal and high brow art. A lofty ambition, but it failed.

I was constantly left wondering what on earth was going on, who people were., what part did they play in the overall story, what has happened so far that makes sense?

The penultimate scene is almost painful as like the rest of the film, the dialogue is verbose but without much meaning. I could barely hear properly what was being said anyway.

But the ending left us still not knowing what large chunks of the film were about. It seemed to be endless unconnected scenes with drawn out meaningless dialogue and no real story at all until the final minutes. That for me is not great story telling, and it doesn't make a great movie.

It got a paltry 3 from me.
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Waited for something to happen but went nowhere
fireflicker3824 September 2022
No doubt there was good acting, but the film as a whole was a complete flop. It was very boring...I kept waiting for something to happen. Throughout the entire movie I waited and then just a bit happened in the end which was not at all satisfying.

This movie was definitely not a thriller, there was very little that moved the film on. I regret the time spent watching such a boring, dull film. It could have been good, it did have potential but was wasted unfortunately. Guy Pearce made a good performance but it wasn't enough to carry the film. Sometimes the best part of a movie is it's trailer, sadly it was for this film.
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Guy Pierce at his best
joffday26 September 2022
I feel sorry for the reviewers who didn't enjoy this.

Guy Pearce is like a wine that just gets better with age. Right now, I'd watch anything with him in it.

I enjoyed the cinematography, the music and - heaven forbid - the story. Yes this is a slow burn and if you have the attention of a meerkat, give it a miss. But, if like me, you like it slow, it's worth the wait for the reveal at the end. For those who figured it out half way through, well done. Someone called the rest 'silliness' - well it wasn't in my book.

I enjoyed not overthinking the who and why and liked how the story played out.
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Bad writing about writing, unironically
fraser-simons1 October 2022
I was in for an alternate Secret Window, or something like it. This was even more contrived, and somehow snagged Guy Pearce and that guy from Lost who is usually alright. How? No idea. This script is just plain old not good.

A reclusive author of a book that supposedly revealed secrets to a man who became an active shooter and was sent to prison, is stalked, many years later, which subsequently unravels a thread bare plot about secrets kept by said author, and having to face new obstacles related to the secrets revealed.

Except... it is so contrived all the time because, well for one, he was a teacher of a writing class that hinged on a principle of writing that is so prosaic that it is only helpful for commercial fiction, basically. Which becomes quite ironic because it's a story that is about writing, specifically the conceit that when a person is understood well enough they can become as a character is situated in a story by the author. But there's no due diligence at all, the conceit is just offered and things spiral out from nonsense that isn't even attempted to be explained away, culminating in an even even more massively contrived finale than the inciting incident for this supposed arc.

It just doesn't work. I'm not sure it tries that hard to work, to be honest. All around it feels like a weak effort. Certainly none of the actors best performance. A throwaway effort on all fronts.
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I actually enjoyed it
Maxax77727 September 2022
I actually enjoyed it - it was better than what I was expecting. The beginning gets to be little drawn out to finally work your way towards the end - but it's not bad. Again, I enjoyed it. Guy Pierce did a great job - and although it was a little slow, I still enjoyed it nonetheless. Now then if I added more to this review, I'd probably have have spoilers - and I don't want to completely dissect the entire film or spoil anyth. But it wasn't terrible - a little bit drawn out - but it was okay overall. This sentence I am writing now will help me to reach the mandatory minimum length of my review! Whew!!!
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It just doesn't work
GeorgeWHAMMYBush25 September 2022
Guy Pearce should easily win a best actor award for this. He gives it his all.

All the actors do. Maybe the director's strength is his ability to get good acting out of his actors?

He shot this wrong. There wasn't any gore or observed threat. The movie has real guts for a solid creepy horror movie but it pulled it's punch. This was more of a slap and not a hard one.

It would have been much shorter too. One seasoned producer would have made a major difference in this movie.

But Guy Pearce makes it work still. He's that good in this. The other actors try but he stands out. David Lynch should work with him.

Watch this without expectations of greatness.
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this was a heavy and slow...
ops-5253523 September 2022
Neurological and psychological meal to devour and swallow. But the never ending philosophical moral of this overfeature length mystery thriller drama is that to lie is a deadly sin, to steal is a deadly sin, and to kill is a most mortal sins of all, in a slow churning plot about a desillutionized author and professors desperatly hiding from society and truth, an almost biblical toned armaghedonish fight to overcome the bad concience of bad deeds done in a very dysantrophobical caracter driven, but ever so surprisingly well acted almost solo riding guy pearce who, when allowed to speak british english appears to the audience as a golden star in the pantheonatic silverscreen theater, a guy ive disliked for so many years for bad acting , has risen from the grave of thrown outta the a-league of the actors guild...

much nonesense written as a reflection of loads of nonsense written scriptica, a shallow, longdrawn and barren production with a heavy message that should burn into everyones skin, whether sane or insane...BE GOOD AND BE HONEST... a 6 outta 10 for the acting and awarded to miself, the grumpy old man , cause its a long way to tipperary isnt it or somewhere colera-do or.
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dclift-8640524 September 2022
What could have been a good film quickly turns into your usual paranoid writer fare.

I actually fell asleep in the final chapter and on awakening realised i really didn't care how it ended.

You'll figure out pretty quickly who the protagonist is and what's going on about midway and after that it's just silliness.

There's no taking away that Guy Pearce is a great actor and in fact it's the reason I wanted to watch this, but even he couldn't save this slow snooze fest.

My advice, go and watch Memento or The Rover if you need a dose of Guy.

Otherwise give this one a skip, We all have our duds now and again I suppose.
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Psychological head trauma
marnold9730624 September 2022
I was intrigued the first fifteen minutes or so. Guy Pearce is an extraordinary actor, but sloppy writing can destroy even the best of performances.

It truly is a mystery but you don't know what answer you are seeking. Also I could tell right from the beginning the location they filmed is not California desert. I assumed it was probably Australian outback but was surprised to learn it was Portugal. It's really distracting to watch a movie that is supposed to take in California, USA and can notice so many nuances that differ otherwise.

I don't mind a slow burn if it actually leads to something exciting. Kudos to Jeremy Davies, his performance was probably one of his best.
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A Masterpiece
kanifuker-8470826 September 2022
Guy Pearce is one of my very very favourite actors going back to the 80's when he was in the Australian soap Neighbours. Since then he has flourished in a hell of a lot of movies and rightly so. He is on par with some of the great actors around and in the past.

The movie is a Masterpiece, a well thought out Thriller from start to finish. I can see why people have down voted this movie because this is a thinker, a worker out movie to the highest level and most - especially the yanks want something easy to follow along with some blood, gore and action. This movie doesn't deserve it's low rating and i will definitely watch this Masterpiece again in the future.
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A slow-burn thriller with dark & moody set-up... to a bloated, self-satisfied & implausible ending
danieljfarthing27 September 2022
A thriller as slow-burn as debut writer / director Andrew Hunt's "The Infernal Machine" relies on its ending, which here is self-satisfied, contrived & implausible... wasting some terrific dark & moody set up work. Reclusive writer Guy Pearce (always solid) lives in isolation after his only novel inspired a mass-shooter 40yrs+ ago. Then SOMEONE starts sending him persistent 'fan mail'... but is it more sinister than that (duh)? Is it the jailed shooter Alex Pettyfor? Will Pearce get help from pretty cop Alice Eve (whose performance epitomises the whole movie: surprisingly good, til ultimately it ain't)? Worthy questions all, all sadly let down by that bloated ending. Shame... sigh.
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Too long to keep me interested.
deloudelouvain25 October 2022
I watched The Infernal Machine with three other people. They all liked it a bit more than me, but it's not that they loved it. I wasn't impressed by it at all. The movie is just too long for that kind of story. It could easily have been half an hour lesser long. Slow paced, repetitive, just not really my thing. By the time the mystery was solved I lost all interest in the story, almost fell asleep. As for the acting it's basically all about Guy Pearce, whom isn't a bad actor, but even he couldn't make this movie better. I won't say the movie is a complete failure, as it probably will please other people, but just not me.
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A nice mystery
sassy-1461317 October 2022
I really enjoyed this movie, especially with recent post pandemic offerings. It had me interested and invested in the story. Guy Pearce was really good. There are twists and turns and good amount of imagination to the story. Camera work and cinematography are top tier.

A big plus there was an ending to this movie. It doesn't just up and end like quite a few movies of late. Which I find extremely lazy storytelling. Literally, almost no cast and not much budget, but the movie was quite good. If you like mysteries or thrillers, I think you'll enjoy this movie. It may not invent the wheel but there's a good one here.
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One too many subplots
digitalphotoperson6 October 2022
This could have been a superb, suspenseful film. I don't want to give a way anything though. The part with the then kid open fire on students in a mass shooting didn't not fit into the main plot whatsoever.

Scenes with the female police officer were a waste of time in terms of developing the story. Unrealistic things take place when she is involved.

Acting by Guy Pearce and the rest of the supporting cast is superb. Directing was well done as was the musical score.

The main theme which is wrapped up in the end of the film would have been enough.

Since I live in southern California and the location is supposed to be SoCal was awesome until I learned it was shot in South America. Oh well.
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ethanbresnett9 December 2022
The Infernal Machine is a real shame as I do think there's a good film to be had in the core idea, but the film just feels like a real mess.

There are too many plot threads going on that don't blend together or connect very well. I think a lot of the character motivation is a bit convoluted which doesn't help either. The result is that this film feels very leggy and drags on quite a bit. This would be somewhat forgivable but the ending is quite bland.

Still, there are some positives. Guy Pearce gives a convincing lead performance and he anchors the film nicely. The middle act is also pretty pacey and exciting, just a shame it is sandwiched between two lethargic acts.

Overall a disappointing tale, but not without a few redeeming features. Worth a watch if you do enjoy a mystery thriller, but don't expect to be blown away.
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The Infernal Machine
CinemaSerf3 December 2022
A lot of this reminded me of "Unhinged" (2020) with Guy Pierce here delivering a strong and characterful performance just as Russell Crowe did back then. Again, like that film, the rest of this story is weak and far-fetched, though. Pierce is reclusive British author "Cogburn" who finds himself being pursued by researching novelist "William DuKent". Initially hostile, for some reason he takes to calling this man from a local phone box and leaving his machine messages telling him to get lost. (Just quite why he doesn't just ignore him... well?). Anyway, this persistence unleashes in the writer the need for a dog and a bottle, and it's after a little too much one night he encounters a local law officer "Higgins" (Alice Eve) and the story lurches from a curious and intriguing personality analysis to a pretty ridiculous mystery centring around a mass shooting 25 years earlier in Knoxville for which "Tufford" (Alex Pettyfer) was incarcerated for life in a super-max prison. As the story starts to unfold, it becomes clear that strings are being pulled and that "Cogburn" is being manipulated. By whom and what for? Well we do find that out, but by the time we do the story has completely lost it's initial potency and become really quite contrived. Pierce does deliver well - he really does, but the squeakily-voiced Pettyfer exudes all the menace of a wet tea bag and the denouement, though quite revealing, is all just a bit poor.
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Guy is a Quazar of cool!
mn_nin_man24 September 2022
Guy Pierce could not be better as this mysterious cowboy writer. Like many films, it begins like an unstaffed puzzle. It comes together piece by piece until it's revealed and complete. It keeps you tense throughout, which is the purpose of a thriller. The rugged dusty visuals add to the tenseness. Alice Eve and Jeremy Davies are also great and to the twists and turns of the movie.

Overall, this film is one the most rewatchable I've seen because of the plethora of clues dealt out while the film is unfolding, which is definitely confusing to start with. It for sure will stick with you for a while after as the puzzle becomes complete and how it mirrors current reality in many ways. As with some of the acting, set pieces, and music/sound. Movies are supposed to make you feel something and this film brings out several emotions all of the way though. I can't wait to watch it again to see what I've missed it it.
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Not Pearce's first machine.
itsnoturm24 September 2022
Frankly, if this man called me up and spouted his inebriated internal diatribe at me for hours on end, I'd probably write to him everyday as well. Mr Cogburn, take a bow good sir, for you are a marvel.

As all of us writers know only too well, the pen is mightier than the sword. You can shoot someone with a gun, even a group of people if they're unfortunate enough to have gathered in the same place when you get trigger happy, but the pen can incite nations. It helps if you have something of a suggestable nature and a sometime furtive imagination as recipient, but really, I have forgotten the number of times I have reduced people to tears by something I've written, and frankly, I'm not even that good at it.

Guy Pearce provides one of his best performances as the writer and protagonist that does indeed learn something about himself along the way, as we're told is a pre-requisite for such an individual. When this reclusive author of some note and infamy begins to receive letters from an enthusiastic fan, he is at first annoyed by the unwanted attention. As time goes on and the letters don't stop coming, he uses the nearest payphone to call the fan, advising them quite definitely to stop their harassment.

Although they don't pick up, he leaves a message that can't really be misconstrued. Yet the letters still keep arriving, and so begins an intricate, well-crafted tale of mystery and intrigue unlike many that we have been presented with for some time. It is far from a hurried tale of one mans' unravelling and the pursuit of what he first believes is righteous justice. Alice Eve ably supports as the local law enforcement who is keener than average to help him get to the bottom of the problem, but to say she likely knows more than she is letting on is something of an understatement.

Personally, I was enraptured with the whole thing and was genuinely sad to see it end. Pearce is outstanding, even if he does, at times, sound like he was born and spent a good portion of his existence in Wigan. His accent leapt about all over the place to begin with, but he apparently settled on Lancashire after a while. The denouement is quite predictable if you're really looking for the clues to tie this up before it's laid out in front of you, but no less satisfying for its reveal.
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Very good but...
...just fails to score at the end.

I don't know how to picture you this without incurring in blatant spoilers; suffice to say that tho at times it's pinfully slow, direction is very good --with a few horrible exceptions, probably due to forced twists in the story (blame it to producers, not the director, thinks me).

Actors, perform solidly, again with two or three painful exceptions in scenes past the two third mark. There's one specially bad, incongruent and unnecessary and unbelievable scene by Guy Pearce and Alice Eve that almost made me cry out loud "don't be such idiots!", as it destroys the beautiful misterious mood of the whole film so far.

Nevertheless, even tho the team fails the last touchdown and field goal with a fairly empty ending, this is an eminently watchable movie that should give your ticket price fullfillment. It won't win any festival awards but you will probably want to watch again when it hits the streaming platforms.

Most certainly it deserves a better score than the mediocre rating it has collected so far.
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Stand and applaud Guy Pearce
kjjames811 December 2022
After seeing this movie I thought firstly how good is Guy Pearce as an actor? It seems as if doesn't mind if the movie he is doing has less of a budget, like this one or a Hollywood blockbusters he stars in, he always gives a great performance.

This movie was excellent and kept you thinking about what was going to happen next, yes I rightly guessed a few if the twists and it didn't spoil my viewing but what I didn't like about this movie was the last fifteen minutes.

Why? Well it seemed once again the script writer didn't know how to end a movie and the way a trap was set, I won't say anymore about that, watch this movie first. The ending was the weakest bit of this fine film.

It's a very slow paced film and yes Guy Pearce holds this movie together.

All the other characters were not used enough in this film but as a low budget film it was worth a watch.
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📝📔📫So Bruce Cogburn Was a Fraud? And in Doing So, Accidentally Destroys his Own Life? Good God 🤔😩
It's Multilayered and If you Really think About It.........This is a Great Movie. 🤦🤔 Also, Great Performance from Guy Pearce.

Elements of the Movie -

1. So the Student Became greater than the Teacher?

2. Was the Teacher ever Great to Begin with? He Certainly Drew something out of the Student, but he himself was a Dull and Crap Writer.

3. "Officer" Higgins 👌

4. Higgins and The Restaurant Scene was a simulation, because when Bruce stands up and shouts and Swears, Nobody Bats an Eye.

5. In the Book, the Priest walks in front of a Car just to slow the car down? The Principle of Cause and Effect which is ALREADY predestined by a Hidden Hand? Oh Boy.

6. "The Road You Construct for your characters to travel along, it shouldn't be paved, it shouldn't be easy. Because finding out who you are, Never is". And Man what a Hard Road Bruce Cogburn was Travelling on in this Movie, to Find out that he was Basically a Fraud with No Talent.

7. Forget Dwight, he's just a Sidebar.

8. Two Characters in this Movie are the Embodiment of the 2 Books "The Infernal Machine" and "The Divine Apostate"

Overall, "Because nobody gives a damn about an inspired second act, if your Finale is a big pile of S**t."
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A masterpiece that will force lists with its story depth...
KorayOfficial3 October 2022
As the course of the story progresses, it diverts your perception and shakes you like a slap, the mystery, the acting, the depth of the story,Without a doubt, it is a masterpiece to be compared with Guy Pearce's Memento. One of the best mystery thrillers of the last 15 years. The story progresses tremendously through the eyes of the main character, you put yourself in Bruce's place and question yourself, injecting it into its atmosphere from the very first minutes, its cinematography, coloring, close-ups, and flashback memories many more beautiful points, A masterpiece that will push the lists...
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