Sunday, September 5, 2010

Horror Film Review

Infestation (2009): If you have a problem with bugs, this is not the movie for you. Similar to Slither, it's a throwback to the classic B-grade monster flicks from the 50's. The problem with modern filmmakers attempting this is that they either take themselves too seriously or go the other way and turn a decent idea into shlocky camp. Infestation finds the perfect balance.

A smart assed ne'er do well, Cooper as played by Chris Marquette, is our hero who wakes up in his cubicle-riddled office completely enshrouded in what appears to be a spider web. He's immediately attacked by a cockroach the size of a dishwasher. Or something like a cockroach. What exactly the bugs are or where they came from isn't terribly clear. So he digs himself and a handful of others out only to discover the entire city has been affected. His group includes an old janitor and his deaf son Hugo, the daughter of Cooper's boss, the love interest, Sara, played by Brooke Nevin, and a ditzy blond TV weather girl who does the strangest things. Ray Wise plays Cooper's father, the stero-typical ex-military blowhard who always manages to find fault in anything his son does.

Sara conveniently gets captured by a wasp and hauled away to a central hive, setting up the perfect excuse for our hero to trek to the hive and rescue her. During that journey, we discover something interesting: if a bug stings you, you sprout insectile legs from your upper torso and become a mutant bug/person who's also a, um...zombie. It makes an odd kind of sense while your watching so just roll with it.

I fully expected this film to have the look and feel of one of those made-for-cable pieces of crap the SyFy Channel vomits out every other week. At the very least I expected the special effects to be cheesy or the acting to suck. But for a movie I'd never heard of until browsing Netflix, I was pleasantly surprised. Well, there was one actor who was terrible but his character was the first to die so I won't complain. It's the humor, though, that makes this one stand out. I laughed more watching Infestation that I did watching Hot Tub Time Machine. Really.


Acting:   Well done, and Ray Wise as Cooper's father is a hoot.
Story:   Not exactly inspired but it serves as a vehicle for the comedy and action.
Direction:   Director Kyle Rankin deftly keeps things moving along and doesn't allow us to dwell on how silly it all is.
Production Values:   What money the producers had was spent wisely. You feel you're watching a much bigger budgeted film.
Special Effects:   Lots of CGI but not SyFy Channel CGI, meaning you can look at it without feeling embarrassed for the F/X guys.
Gore:   Next to none.
The Ending:   It will piss you off in the same way the Sopranos' ending pissed people off.
The Verdict:  Should you see it? Absolutely. It was fun.

My Rating:  3 out of 5

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