Make no mistake, this is no Lord of the Rings or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but it's a fun little B-grade styled movie that took us by surprise. Sure, it starts out pretty underwhelming, but ultimately this movie is quite the fun little ride. But what's it all about then...
Cooper Flynn (Chris Marquette) is an immature joker who shirks his professional responsibilities. He in the process of being dismissed by his unimpressed boss when everything changes. The next thing he knows he is waking up wrapped tightly in a cobweb-like substance. All of his office colleagues are similarly cocooned. An astonished Cooper is attached by a giant black bug, and soon discovers that everyone in the streets has been stored for future food. After waking a few individuals, including Sara, his former employers attractive daughter, Cooper ventures outside with the group. The plan is to track down their loved ones and find a safe haven, but the huge and violent bugs are everywhere...
In terms of actors I was pretty impressed as Chris Marquette (The Girl Next Door) as Cooper. He's a little geeky and goofy but also has that level of charm and personality that you really care about his journey. Other actors along for the ride include Brooke Nevin, Kinsey Packard, Ray Wise, E. Quincy Sloan, Wesley Thompson and Linda Park. We're sure you would recognise them from a variety of TV shows and they really play up their roles in this movie.
Visual effects in Infestation are very much a mixed bag. At times they are quite superb, with some decent stunt work, but at other times the visual effects look like something from the late 1990's and are very rough and ready. Still, given the film would have had a pretty small budget, the filmmakers haven't held back on showing off the creatures, with plenty of shots in daylight.
Don't go into this movie expecting something cerebral or jaw-dropping visually. This is very much a B-Grade Horror/Action spoof, but it's a movie which grows on you when you latch onto it's stupidity. I, for one, actually very much enjoyed the low-budget, but good-spirited, nature of this film.
Infestation is actually an impressive looking movie on Blu-Ray. The film has been encoded using the AVC MPEG-4 codec and is presented on Blu-Ray in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Colours are good and the image is free from any film artifacts. I wouldn't ever say that the video quality is exceptional, it often has a bit of a soft look to it, but there are also quite a few scenes which look gorgeous on Blu-Ray with exceptional levels of fine detail. It's clear though that this Blu-Ray version is superior to the DVD release in every way and with a bitrate that often hovers over 25Mbps and even reaches above 35Mbps meaning there is plenty of room for this video track to breathe.
This disc also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 448kbps which is decent but not up to the standards set by the lossless track. As for subtitles Infestation includes a single English Hard of Hearing (HOH) subtitle track which places the text on screen, and in colours, according to who is talking on-screen. Again, it's and impressive part of Icon Films Blu-Ray release.
While it's not loaded with extras there are a couple of bits here.
Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Kyle Rankin: It's not the best commentary however it's clear that Kyle has a passion for film, and has plenty of details to impart about the production of this very B-Grade horror film. If you enjoyed the film then this is well worth a listen especially as the director is quite happy to talk about where things could have been improved.
The Creation of Infestation (20:10): Not the best "Making of" featurette ever seen but this is a fairly entertaining look at the creation of this movie with plenty of interviews and some on-set footage. Sadly it's only in Standard Definition and there were also some audio "pops" during this featurette.
Theatrical Trailer (1:52): I have to say that the Theatrical Trailer for this movie is pretty funny and sets the B-movie tone of the film perfectly. In fact if you want to know what this movie is like, just search for this trailer online.
Review By: Dave Warner