Sometimes you just need to turn out the lights, cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate and a blanket, and get sucked into a world of vivid imagery of blood, guts, screams and animalistic rage. Right? Sure.
Writer/Director Shane Abbess brings us this 2015 inspired, yet unique, space thriller to our screens. The movie opens in a 23rd century future where society seems to have made a breakthrough in digitizing matter whether to create openings in walls or to send humans to distant corners of the known universe. An elite team uses this new way of travel, called the Slipstream, to go on a search-and-rescue mission looking for a lone survivor in a distant mining facility after a reported event killed all other occupants.
Infini reeks of creature/horror films from the past such as The Thing, Event Horizon, even video games such as Dead Space. The atmosphere remains heavy, cold and frightening. Brian Cachia's score keeps the pulsing pace of the film on the edge of its own seat while cinematographer, Carl Robertson, keeps this vicious atmosphere intact with his work.
From a technical standpoint, Infini hits the spot. What unfortunately tends to happen with these modern creature/thriller/horror films however, is that the rest of the movie falls short. This is not necessarily the case with Infini. Where many other modern films of this calibre become stale, Infini offers us a bit more that causes it to stand out from the rest. For one, the story remains an amalgam. There's enough to the story to continue to make you wonder what the hell is going on. Thankfully, the plot makes sense when the lights come up.
Another plus with Infini is that the dialogue and acting remain solid. The lead in Daniel MacPherson stays strong while the supporting cast give equally committed performances. Luke Hemsworth (older brother of Chris and Liam Hemsworth) gives a startlingly convincing performance in a particular scene in the movie that is almost a bit frightening. This unstable tension and violent passion follow through the whole film. Director Shane Abbess' jarringly unconventional cuts and angles strengthen the insanity that resides within Infini.
The only gripe I have that more or less brought the movie down a couple of pegs for me is that the film takes a bit too long to let you make sense of what is transpiring in front of you. Whether by fault or design, it makes you as the viewer feel on the outside, looking in, usually not a good feeling to have when you are meant to gain an intimate understanding of the characters in a film of this nature. The only other complaint I have is the ending, which I won't give away for obvious reasons.
Overall I feel Shane Abbess' Infini is a cut above the rest of the modern films of its category and one that should not be overlooked by fans of the genre. I watched the film on Netflix, so if you are a subscriber to that, you're all set!
Let me know what you thought of the movie in the comments below!
- Josh Doherty