The Infernal Machine Trailer: Guy Pearce Is A Writer Being Stalked By His Number One Fan

Paramount has released the trailer for the upcoming psychological thriller "The Infernal Machine," written and directed by Andrew Hunt ("Miles Between Us," "Frost Bite"). Guy Pearce ("The Hurt Locker," "Mare of Easttown") stars as Bruce Cogburn, the writer of a controversial book that was cited as the cause of a teenager murdering 13 people, seemingly from a message contained in the book. Cogburn stopped writing because of it, and has been living a reclusive life ... until the non-stop letters start coming in from a single fan. 

If you're not familiar with the phrase "infernal machine," it's a device that is deliberately designed to destroy. Think of a bomb or a cryptic message that is a call to action for a criminal cell. The trailer does keep much of the plot under wraps, but it seems that Cogburn's mysterious letter-writing fan has uncovered the same hidden message that supposedly caused the mass shooting.

"The Infernal Machine" also stars Alice Eve ("Star Trek Into Darkness"), Alex Pettyfer ("Magic Mike"), and Jeremy Davies ("Saving Private Ryan"). Check out the trailer below.

Watch The Infernal Machine trailer

Oof, this is spooky, particularly with everything going on in the world right now. Is the book a psychological incendiary device? Is there a message that was supposed to be read between the lines, or was this fan interpreting the text in a different way? It seems obvious that Cogburn has a past, and opening a trailer with the shot of a quarter being etched to resemble a picture of a skull is pretty ominous. 

"The Infernal Machine" does bring up the debate about writers and their work. If someone takes something from a book that wasn't there, or believes an author is speaking to them in code and commits a crime because of it, does the author bear any responsibility? It puts one in mind of the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, when — among other things — heavy metal music was blamed for murders and suicides because of supposed hidden messages. J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye," for example, has been linked to several assassinations, including those of John F. Kennedy and John Lennon.

There's a good sense of mystery in this trailer; enough so that I'm sort of surprised that "The Infernal Machine" isn't getting a wider theatrical release. 

Guy Pearce stars in this psychological thriller of obsession and deceit. Bruce Cogburn (Pearce), a reclusive and controversial author of the famed book The Infernal Machine, is drawn out of hiding when he begins to receive endless letters from an obsessive fan. What ensues is a dangerous labyrinth as Bruce searches for the person behind the cryptic messages... forcing him to confront his past and ultimately revealing the truth behind The Infernal Machine.

"The Infernal Machine" will hit select theaters and On Demand on September 23, 2022.