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Christopher Webster [Film Festival 07.13.09] Tuvalu post apocalyptic movie review scifi

Year: 2009
Directors: Kyle Rankin
Writers: Kyle Rankin
Buy it: Link
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: agentorange
Rating: 7.8 out of 10

Yep, I'm one hell of a lucky film fan. I've seen Kyle Rankin's glorious creature-feature, Infestation, and get the honor of being the first person online (anywhere?) to review it. But, you know what? There's someone out there who you should envy more than me. I know, I know it's hard to believe, but it's true. It's that impressionable 10 year old kid, tuning in to SyFy on August 8, 2009 and getting his mushy brain converted into a cult-worshiping genre film fanatic for the rest of his natural life.

You know what I'm talking about because it happened to all of us at one time or another. Whether it was the first time you saw the lightsabers of Star Wars, the undead in Romero's "Dead" films or - perhaps even more apropos to this review - witnessed the blending of horror and comedy in Tremors, there was one film that turned you from a normal kid into a lustful genre junkie, willing to pillage even the most passed over discount bins in search of another taste of that singular cinematic thrill. Infestation, with its glorious PG-13 sensibilities, likable characters, humor and penchant for exploding bug guts will no doubt be "that movie" for a whole new generation of would-be B-movie misfits. So listen to your uncle AO kids. Enjoy it now, 'cause you only get one first time.

I hope that by now you've all seen the fantastic trailer that dropped back in February, but if you haven't I'll run through the plot for you. Twenty-something call center drone, Cooper (Chris Marquette), wakes up in a cocoon of webbing on the floor by his cubical one day. After escaping his bonds and fighting off a giant mutant beetle, he discovers that the entire world is in the process of being enslaved by giant bugs. After waking up a few others, the small team of survivors concoct a plan to high-tail it to his retired military father's home to wall up in his bomb shelter until the whole thing blows over. Along the way, a multitude of bugs explode, bad actors get run over by trucks and Cooper must decide between playing it safe like he's always done, or saving Sara (Brooke Nevin), the girl who might just be "the one" (as in girlfirend the one, not Neo "chosen one" the one).

A huge part of Infestation's charm comes from its gleeful pairing of PG-13 creature comedies like Tremors and Eight Legged Freaks!, with the awkward-guy indie comedy. In fact, it shares far less in common with gooey, hard-R flicks like James Gunn's Slither or John Gulager's Feast then you might expect. Those films are awesome too (God bless them), but Infestation just isn't that kind of movie. It's far too happy reveling in harmless, gross-out fun and character hijinx to be really all that scary.

Even though the film was made on an indie budget, the FX look pretty darn stellar. Instead of going for a photo-real look with the bugs, the filmmakers decided to make them look like giant versions of something rubber you might get out of a supermarket vending machine. This gives the bugs a schlocky, 50s nuclear- experiment-gone-wrong kind of Them quality that, again, makes the film more fun than really scary. If I had any complaint about the bugs it might be that there needed to be a couple more variations that pop up now and again. There's mostly just ones that fly, ones that don't and a queen.

One thing I should mention is that comedic newcomer Chris Marquette completely carries this film. I mean, completely. It's almost a one man show at times so I guess if you don't like his quirky, slacker acting style it could be a deal breaker for you. You'll probably remember Marquette as the friend who has cancer in the ensemble Star Wars comedy Fanboys, but here he channels all the charm of a sardonic young John Cusack to prove he's more than capable of breaking into the leading man game. The whole thing really hinges on this character and I personally think that without Marquette's comedic presence the film would have flatlined big time. The other performance of note is Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, Robocop) who once again proves his versatility by giving a hilarious performance as Cooper's overbearing father.

As I stated above, the film is set to premiere on SyFy on August 8, 2009 so I heartily recommend setting your TiVo, DVR, VCR or what-have-you or just tuning in and enjoying some post-apocalyptic bug-brained fun. You won't regret it.

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Avery (12 years ago) Reply

WOW!! It sounds like they really acheived what they were shooting for! I'm dying to see this one! I'm so there on August 8th.!! I have to admit though that I'm really sadened that it's not getting any theatrical release before that date though.


quietearth (12 years ago) Reply

C'mon Jonas.. you're killing me here.


Jonas (12 years ago) Reply

Bah! Oh well... Infestation looks awesome and I'm glad to hear it's good. (but it's still really silly you can't even mention that word) ;)


TeeJay (12 years ago) Reply

Great to hear people are enjoying the movie. However, if I may correct you on one tiny little detail: Chris Marquette is not a comedic newcomer. He's been in the acting business since he was 4 years old, and he's done comedies before Infestation, most prominently The Girl Next Door, Just Friends and Fanboys.
I myself will see the movie at the German Fantasy Film Fest in just about a month's time. Can't wait!


Jessica (12 years ago) Reply

Yesss... this flick was not a waste of time. It was completely enjoyable with just enough creep-out factor to keep you looking for more. Thank you for the review, it was right on the mark!


Jake (12 years ago) Reply

I just watched the premier on SyFy last night; I have to second the sentiments of the review. Infestation was hilarious, but the storyline was still interesting enough that the movie was much more than just a comedy creature feature. Chris Marquette reminded terribly of John Cusack, being perfectly awkward and easy to relate to. Brooke Nevin's perfprmance as Sara was irresitably likeable as well, and played the perfect compliment to Marquette's character. Plus, it IS apost-apocalyptic film, so it's just cool.


mark (12 years ago) Reply

found the movie to be pretty enjoyable for what it was buuuuuuuuut

Spoilers here...

what's the deal with the ending?


Wayne (12 years ago) Reply

I'm also puzzled, and disappointed, by the ending. What happened? Did SyFy clip the film?


agentorange (12 years ago) Reply

Nah, it was just a classic B-movie "question mark" ending - like in the Blob. What did they see? Will there be a sequel? Doesn't matter really. It was just meant to make you feel like the adventure wasn't really over.


chicagorob1 (12 years ago) Reply

Nah, the ending wasn't meant to be a "question mark," it was crudely cut off and there weren't any credits. ScyFy simply screwed up editing the movie to fit in the time slot.


agentorange (12 years ago) Reply

Really? How did it end on TV? I only watched the screener.


HonestT (12 years ago) Reply

I enjoyed the heck of this... but at first, I was rooting for Cooper's death because he came off as a grade A douche. The comedic aspects of this film really saved it for me, it has a lot of real honest laugh out loud moments. BUT: As said before the ending was, more like, is that it? It seemed cut off, not ambiguiously scary!!!


tiGGer2too (12 years ago) Reply

Caught the rerun last night on Syfy (such a stupid name-change, I've resolved to always pronounce it siff-ee, so it sounds like a venereal disease ;-).
Infestation looks like an inspired idea by the writer/director, but it didn't consistently keep up the apparently intended comic tone.
Also, Chris Marquette's character WAS a douche for (too) much of the movie, so it was a little hard to warm up to him as the hero by the end.
Probably the best things in the movie (besides some surprisingly good special effects) were the always-terrific and charismatic Ray Wise and the lovely, simmering Brooke Nevin.

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