Infestation

infest_posterInfestation is a Horror/Comedy filmed in 2009 in Bulgaria and released by Icon Productions.  Written and directed Kyle Rankin, Infestation is another example of B-Movies with heart. The main ingredient for making a low budget production that’s worth seeing, the film has a fun atmosphere and a fun style. But there’s also a couple drawbacks, so first the movie.

The film opens with the films hero Cooper (Chris Marquette) wrapped and unconscious in strange webbing along with everyone inside of an office building. We cut to a good while later later with Cooper arriving at his job as a telemarketer. He’s relieved to be a slacker and office slouch who no one seems to like.He gets called into his boss Maureens office to be unsurprisingly fired, but while he’s in the midst of being fired a loud sound renders him unconscious. He awakens to find himself in strange webbing and is forced to fight a number of large insects for his life. He starts freeing others of their cocoons including his boss Maureen. Maureen remembers her daughter was on her way and rushes out, Cooper followers her. Cooper wakes Maureens daughter Sara (Brooke Nevin), while Sara saves Cooper, Maureen is taken by the insects. The two continue to wake people up and gather a group of survivors including Hugo (E. Quincy Sloan), Albert (Wesley Thompson), Leechee (Linda Park), Cindy (Kinsey Packard) among others. Group dynamics forces the group to spin out of control, causing a number of losses. The group learns that the insects are attracted to sound and decided to hold up in a bank where group dynamics become further stressed. Cooper eventually decides to go to the home of his father, Ethan (Ray Wise) for supplies. On the way others are lost and Sara is taken by the insects. Upon arrival, he wakes his father, but Albert is lost when he transforms into a bug man having been earlier infected. Cooper decides man up and rescue Sara with the aid of this father and the remaining survivors.

So the things I like is the strange group dynamics that are a constant part. I know this aspect is a main staple in any apocalyptic film, but not as… weird as this. Mostly it’s the wonky “love triangle” and more up front is the relationship between fathers and sons. Hugo and Albert are easily my favorite characters for this reason. While the acting comes off as corny most of the time, they all deliver fun and engaging performances.

I also like the cartoony feel that much of the film has. I’m not sure how much of this is on purpose and how much is due to just the nature of low budget productions. But I find a hard time thinking of a scene that wasn’t interesting to look at. But the insect dog makes me believe the cartoonish tone is on purpose.

But some issues I do have, so let me start addressing those. First off, characters are often casually written out. It infuriates me when this happens, more should be made out of people leaving or dying. But this is a point that even the director points out during the dvd commentary as something he feels he could of done better himself. So since he’s aware of the problem my annoyances is greatly diminished.

Lastly the film is so damn bright. Every this shot incredibly well lit so the CGI monsters are very glaring. Darkness could of helped a bit, as during many of the action scenes in the film. I get so taken out by CGI monsters that I drop my disbelief and with it my investment with the characters. With the frequency and the constant break in disbelief the film comes up very lacking in the horror for me.

Now final thoughts, the acting is enjoyable and times actually pretty good. The script is well done for the most part and the actors run with it selling many of the harder to believe aspects. The film is just a zombie movie, but with bugs, it’s a fact that’s widely acknowledged and I love zombie films. So that has lots to do with why I love this film.  Because of this I would recommend this film to fans of the zombie genre who are looking for something slightly different and fans of invasion movies. So Infestation fun comedy, weak in horror, fun atmosphere, but at times its inconstant in tone, thus overall I give Infestation a solid 6.5/10.

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