The Horror Review: EST: 1999

  Infestation (2009)

 Film Title: Infestation Year Released:  2009
Reviewed By: Steven West
Movie Website: Click Here
Overall Stars: *** Scare Factor: **

   A quirky, refreshingly witty take on the giant insect sub-genre, built around a fine comic performance by Chris Marquette as a deliciously sarcastic and asshole-ish slacker hero. Hes a loser office-drone whose idea of a clever chat-up line is to quote one of Hannibal Lecters creepiest SILENCE OF THE LAMBS monologues. Just as hes being fired by a boss at the end of her tether, Marquette - and everyone else - blacks out, waking up to find everyone in a webbed state and in the midst of a big-bug takeover.

   INFESTATION has an infectious amount of fun with its familiar B-movie premise and wraps it up in a flippant, eccentric sense of humour. Like the best horror comedies, however, it is grounded in credibly flawed characters who we end up warming to thanks to clever writing and acting. Marquette may be an asshole, but the script cares enough about him to find time for a surprisingly poignant character moment (involving his recently deceased mom) to remind us that hes a human being, too. The rest of a pleasingly offbeat character ensemble include a mostly silent deaf guy and a hilarious Ray Wise as Marquettes stubborn, militaristic dad.

   Its a well paced movie thats punctuated by superb, inventive bug attack set pieces. For once, practical FX are seamlessly integrated with their digital counterparts, creating monsters that can compare to the best of their kind in this sub-genre. Particularly fun and well executed are the hybrids, including a half-spider, half-kid and a marvelous spider-dog.

   The self-conscious EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS proved that this kind of seemingly cant-fail premise is not as easy to pull off as it might appear. INFESTATION does everything right, from a surprising gore moment with a horribly broken limb to an endearing throwaway, What the fuck? ending. It also has surprisingly sinister images of flying bugs hovering en masse above a city and an eerie shot of a cocooned street that echoes the most memorable scene in John Bud Cardos effective 70s creeper KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS.

 - Steven West


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