FRIGHTFEST UK ’09: Film Review: INFESTATION
Directed By: Kyle Rankin
Cast: Chris Marquette, Brooke Nevin,
Review By: ZC Barry
Infestation was the last film of the first day at London’s Frightfest and followed two above average movies: Triangle, and The Hills Run Red. Knowing nothing about it, but hoping to end the day on a high, Infestation had a lot to live up to.
Work-shy twenty-something Cooper (Chris Marquette) starts his day at work as normal… late. After being taken into his boss’s office and fired, a blinding light causes everyone in the city to pass out. Regaining consciousness and feeling nauseous, he finds himself covered in webbing and hanging from the ceiling.
After escaping from his cocoon prison, he’s attacked by his insect captor, a 3ft long beetle! Defeating the bug, Cooper awakens more of his co-workers and they decide what to do about the giant pests outside. Deciding to head to his military father’s underground bunker, Cooper and his ragtag group head out of the city, leaving others behind to help the remaining captives.
After various encounters with flying insects and half-human/half-bug hybrids, they rescue Cooper’s father, set out to destroy the bug’s hive, and rescue love interest Sara (Brooke Nevin).
The more I think about it, the less sense the movie makes and the less thought seems to have gone into the actual story/plot. No explanation is given for where the bugs come from, and despite the sci-fi overtones, this is really a road movie with Cooper growing up, finally taking responsibility for his life, and earning his father’s respect.
Since I’ve started with the bad I might as well mention the rubber looking bugs and TV quality CGI effects. At no point do you really believe that the bugs are real and even the better effects of the hybrid creatures never look as real as say, Starship Troopers, or the more recent The Mist.
Infestation is also a schizophrenic movie that’s never quite sure if it is a comedy in a sci-fi setting, or sci-fi film with the odd jokes here and there. Starting out much funnier than it ends, the second half takes itself far too seriously, though the last joke is both funny and heart-warming and will be something you’re doing to your friends as soon as you come out of the cinema.
That said, Infestation isn’t a terrible movie. Performances are solid from all the cast, and Marquette’s comedic manner occasionally elevates it beyond the merely watchable, though he does seem a little out of his depth carrying the film on his shoulders.
Overall, the film tries to be Shaun of the Dead with insects, but unfortunately only gives it as much effort as Cooper himself would; enough to get by, but, when things get tough, cuts corners to give itself an easier time.
ZC Barry writes for Zombie Command; a UK based zombie website featuring zombie news, reviews and interviews.
Brutal As Hell Rating: 2 out of 5