Thursday, December 10, 2009
Director: Kyle Rankin
Writer: Kyle Rankin
Starring Christopher Marquette, Brooke Nevin, Kinsey Packard, E. Quincy Sloan, Wesley Thompson, Linda Park, Deborah Geffner, Jim Cody Williams and Ray Wise
Killer bug films have always been a subject for horror films that I have always loved, from Empire of the Ants to Arachnaphobia. Infestation is the latest entry into this sub genre and it reminds me a lot of the early 90's classic Ticks. With a hint of Shaun of the Dead. Marquette plays a loser at everything just like Shaun, but with his affable personality you cannot help but like him. This is a film that originally aired on the SyFy Channel, but was released on DVD not long after and it deserves to bee seen in it unexpurgated form. This is a low budget film that operates on all cylinders and hits the ground running. It has a sly sense of humor, a greet plot, some excellent effects and a stellar cast and all these things gel together so well. The added bonus of having Ray Wise in the film is just the icing on the cake for this film.
The plot basics are this, Cooper (Marquette) awakes after having a bad day at work, haven just gotten fired wakes up in a cocoon of some sort at work and he quickly discovers that a army of bugs has been harvesting people for food. After he defeats one of the insects, he awakens the rest of the office and a girl, Sara (Nevin) who was inside her car coming to see her mother, who was Cooper's boss. After narrowly escaping flying bugs, Cooper comes up with a plan to get back to his house, where his father (Wise) is a survivalist and very well stocked for just such a predicament as this. Along the way the group runs into various problems and slowly the group dwindles down till Sara is abducted by one of the creatures and Cooper who has feelings for her has had enough and decides to go and rescue her, without any thinking of his own well being. This leads to a explosive finale at the bugs nest.
This is a solidly funny and exciting low budget film. The direction by Rankin is excellent, he balances the humor of the situation with the horror of giant bugs very well. It is all played as a tongue in cheek situation and that makes the film much more entertaining than it would have been if it was played completely seriously. The script balances the humor very well with the outlandish situations the characters find themselves in with the bugs. The interactions between Cooper and Sarah are funny as hell, as are the conversations between Cooper and his father. These character dynamics are really what makes this film a step above most killer bug films made recently. The cast is excellent. Marquette as Cooper is a great joy to watch,, he is such a affable loser that really brings to mind Simon Pegg in Shaun of the Dead. Nevin as Sarah is a good opposite to Marquette and they play well off each other with Him flirting with her constantly, and her shooting him down in rapid succession. The small screen time That Wise is on the screen really brings a lot to the film. His wry sense of humor and his constant breaking down of Cooper makes him a hoot to watch. The SFX and effects are excellent. The CGI used never looks very fake and you actually believe that giant bugs have taken over the world. The bugs are very gooey and you see a lot of the guts of them and it is grody and fun. For fans of giant bug invasion films and slacker comedies like Shaun of the Dead, I highly recommend this film.
This one gets 4 out of 5