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Infestation (DVD)

When giant bugs take over the world!

Disc Specs

Starring Chris MarquetteBrooke NevinRay Wise Disc Cover
Directed By Kyle Rankin Certificate 15
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1
Visuals 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Running Time 91 mins
UK Release Date September 7, 2009
Genre Comedy, Horror, Sci-fi
Our Rating
User Rating

Slacker Cooper (Chris Marquette) turns up for work, gets called into a meeting and is told he’s been fired. It’s the briefest of set-ups, as the next thing we know Cooper is waking up, having been cocooned in silk by enormous killer bugs, and apparently so has everyone else on the planet. With no idea what’s going or how he got from the meeting to his current predicament, Cooper starts waking other people up, gradually putting together a small band of survivors, including the attractive Sara. They decide to try and make their way to Cooper’s dad’s house, which has an underground bunker that will hopefully protect them from the hoards of giant insects.

It’s a hazardous journey though and they have to deal with various types of killer bugs, including some that are half-man, half-invertebrate, and all of which want them dead – or at least which want to put them in hibernation mode so they can kill them later. But despite it being the end of the world as we know it, Cooper won’t let that stop him from trying to get it on with Sara (Brooke Nevin), and it won’t cause him to put aside his long-standing problems with his distant father (Ray Wise).

Infestation is unabashed b-movie entertainment that’s a bit silly and knows it. However it’s also quite fun, thanks in large part to the presence of Marquette, who’s a rather sweet, charismatic centre around which the movie rotates. He helps anchor a story that will frustrate some because it explains very little about where the bugs came from, instead going for a scenario that’s probably more like it would be in real life, where even in an implausible disaster, people probably wouldn’t know what was going on or why, and would just have to try and survive. To be honest, I quite liked this angle as it forces the film to concentrate on its everyman characters, but there’s no doubt some will feel annoyed by the fact that all the answers aren’t handed to them on a plate.

Admittedly Infestation has quite a few plot holes and at times the tone swings from drama, to comedy, to satire, to horror and everywhere inbetween, but it doesn’t really matter too much, because enough of the comedy and heart wins through to help paper over the cracks and ensure that the action and entertainment rarely lulls. It certainly won’t go down as a classic, but it’s good, lightweight fun.

Kudos should also be given to the makers for trying to have characters with their own personal story arcs, rather than the pure cardboard cut-outs that have become typical for these movies. They may not be the most complex people ever seen on screen and their emotional problems may not be new, but they ensure the film is more watchable than it might otherwise have been. Of course there’s also plenty of giant bug action to keep you entertained, with insects attacking and getting splattered all over the place.

There’s only one real special feature on the DVD, but it is worth a watch. Called ‘The Creation Of Infestation’, it’s a featurette about the filming of the movie. What makes it a little different is that while set in the US, Infestation was actually shot in Bulgaria, and so the featurette goes through how you make Eastern Europe look like America and also how the health and safety requirements over there aren’t quite as stringent as they are in Hollywood. It’s an interesting addition to a silly but fun movie that certainly succeeds in its b-movie, giant-bug zapping aims.

Overall Verdict: It’s surprisingly tough to pull off a successful sci-fi b-movie without making it so stupid that it loses its entertainment value, but Infestation and its giant bugs offer a pretty enjoyable and humorous apocalypse.

Special Features:
‘The Creation Of Infestation’ Featurette
Trailer

Reviewer: Tim Isaac

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