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INFRARED (2022)

Directed and written by Robert Livings, Randy Nundlall Jr..
Starring Jesse Janzen, Leah Finity, Greg Sistero, Ariel Ryan, Samantha Laurenti, Nicole Berry, Ian Hopps, Randy Nundlall Jr., Austin Blank, Robert Livings, Romulo Reyes, Lori Richardson

Wes (Jesse Janzen) is a paranormal investigator, getting ready to film the first episode of his new paranormal reality series entitled INFRARED (like the name of the movie!!!), but what he doesn’t know is that his producer has also cast Wes’ sister Izzy (Leah Finity), a powerful empath who had a falling out with Wes a while back. On the first episode, Izzy and Wes reluctantly reunite to investigate a closed down school with a dark past and rumored to be haunted. After the owner of the school Geoff (Greg Sestero) agrees to open the school for the investigation, the cameras start rolling to capture all of the paranormal action.

I’ll give it to filmmakers Robert Livings and Randy Nundlall Jr., they go out of their way to make the footage feel genuinely found, keeping the edits light with no music or production done to them. This always leads to a much more authentic feeling film and works in making the viewer be that much closer to the action. That said, there are a lot of very tired found footage tropes going on with INFRARED. Namely, not a lot of action occurs until the last few minutes of INFRARED. There only are a few instances where some truly creepy stuff happens, but like most paranormal shows, it’s a whole lot of doors slightly moving and Izzy getting odd vibes. These lower-level chills don’t really feel fresh or new and the over the top ending, which actually involves an interesting and unexpected twist, happens all too late and is over all too soon.

The thing that saves INFRARED is the subplot of the damaged relationship between Wes and Izzy. Both actors Janzen and Finity are solid in their roles, commanding some pretty emotional scenes without feeling as if they are staged or forced. Their natural acting actually helped me invest in the film, despite the long moments between scares.

INFRARED left me conflicted. I think the acting was above par for movies of this sort and the story had some very interesting turns. That said, in terms of being an actual scary movie, it fails miserably. There are some decently-constructed jump scares, but that’s about it and there just isn’t enough creativity put into these scenes to leave a lasting or startling impression.

Check out the trailer here!!