Director: Shane Abbess
Starring: Daniel MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth, Bren Foster, Luke Ford
Running Time: 110 minutes
INFINI is not an original movie- it is a formulaic, quasi-classic approach to science fiction that gives the film a nostalgic feeling throughout. Evoking one half EVENT HORIZON and one half ALIEN, INFINI is a return to form for the science fiction horror genre that has been absent for sometime. Because of this, we are treated to a small-scale film that feels like a breath of fresh air for two genres that have stagnated over the years, while also feeling like a throwback to the classics from the 70s/80s.
At the core of the film is the idea of slipstream travel- a process that allows for people to travel throughout the galaxy in seconds. Taking place at a mining colony on the edge of the known galaxy, one team slipstreams to the facility unknowingly carrying an alien infection. One member of this team, Whit Carmichael (Daniel MacPherson), manages to escape the infection by slipstreaming again only to arrive at the source of the infection. After another team is sent in to investigate the viral outbreak, the infection begins to spread causing hysteria, violence, and mental breakdowns among the infected as the virus begins to tear each other apart.
While the infection is of foreign origin, the film is very clearly about the humans. The implementation of the virus allows for director Shane Abbess to play with reality, demonstrating each characters going too their extremes both mentally and physically. This allows for the actors to really cut loose, with MacPherson, Luke Ford, and Grace Huang standing out for some powerful moments. The film feels very much like ALIEN, especially as INFINI (the name of the facility the film takes place) replicates the tight, claustrophobic nature of the Nostromo which adds to the tense feeling that these characters are in danger. However, this works as a double-edged sword for the film as it means the cinematography ends up being very flat and repetitive due to the confined setting. The various hallways of the station alongside of the typical spacesuits results in confusing geography, making it hard to tell what character is where.
INFINI’s atmosphere calls back to a simpler time for science fiction, before these films were used to display various ideologies as seen in most modern-day science fiction films. However, the ending of the film goes against this atmosphere as new ideologies regarding life and death are haphazardly thrown into the film. This becomes very obtuse given the overarching theme of family that existed throughout the film. This is not enough to kill the climax of the film, it does stick out, especially since the film’s story was already nothing truly original.
INFINI is a pretty chaotic film, often times using clichés and confusion to create false tension throughout the film, yet it still works. It is a film that harbors off of our feelings towards classic genre entries and brings them back to the forefront. While the ending feels out-of-place, it raises some interesting questions that the film tries to address. This all comes together to create a sci-fi like nothing we have seen in a very long time.
[usr 4] – INFINI will be available to rent or purchase on iTunes and other digital platforms on May 8 and is released in the UK this summer.