Monday, December 5, 2011

Infestation (2009)

Bugs become boss

A Joe Shmoe desk jockey gets a blessing and a curse when he's moments away from being fired, only to wake up days later wrapped in a cocoon like substance with a giant man size bug that he has to fight off from getting him or his remaining co-workers. The slouching slacker Cooper teams up with the all-work, no-play boss's daughter Sara and some others of various personalities that remember only bits and pieces about that first day. The soon learn that the bugs are blind but have a sensitivity to sound, so the plan is simple: quietly walk to their relatives' residences to see if they're still alive. Easy said, easy done, as some move on and make plans, while others hold on to the past or remain still and become self-centered along the way. To make matters worse, once bitten by one of the bugs, you turn into a spider hybrid zombie that looses all reasoning skills except serving your new master who's building up a stronghold.

The story of "Infestation" is more or less a loose string of misadventures with Cooper at the helm. He jumps around to different places and meets different people along the way that have different ideas as to how to handle the epidemic of bugs: some cooperatively, some forcefully. People are dying like flies and some even backstab or posture over one another, but the atmosphere is still kept on the lighter side due to keeping it as uncomplex as possible and not lingering very long. This is a B movie but the dialogue actually feels measured out and the interaction between the cast seems practiced enough to feel natural than forcing lines. Christopher Marquette, as Cooper, definitely carries this as a leading man with a comic and sarcastic flair for the set of events, rather than going in all tough and charismatic. He's aloof and makes a gross number of mistakes but still manages to hold his own and handle a job that feels doable for his personality.

The effects were actually commendable with either the CG bugs of various design moving about to seamlessly blending the nonphysical and physical together. This is a homage film, so some parts are purposely formulaic and somewhat easy when just referencing and shuffling from place to place. While not overly dramatic, completely original or nail bitting tension filled, the film is still innovative, energetic and a lot of fun in the vain of "Shaun of the Dead" and "Zombieland" but with different creatures that spin cocoons and spill bug guts instead of gore.

Rating: 7.5/10

Director: Kyle Rankin (The Battle of Shaker Heights)
Stars: Chris Marquette, Brooke Nevin, E. Quincy Sloan, Ray Wise
Link: IMDB

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