SyFy Corner: Infestation (2009)

The good thing is even though this flick was picked up by the SyFy Channel for distribution, it wasn’t MADE by the SyFy Channel.  Score one point to Infestation. The bad thing is it COULD’VE been made by the SyFy Channel. Take that point away.  All the usual suspects are here: cheesy dialogue, pretty silly action, and a bizarre plot.  But somehow writer-director Kyle Rankin makes this one pretty fun (up until the ending; more on this later).  And let’s admit it; we watch these creature movies FOR the creatures.  If they are passable and cool looking we’ll forgive other sins the movie commits.  And surprisingly the creatures, giant beetle-like things, look pretty good.  They look like a composite of both practical and CGI f/x, and the f/x team did a good job of making it look like the creatures were really attacking  and killing the cast members.  I think we can give that point back to the film.

Cooper taking one for the team!!

The story follows our hero, Cooper (Chris Marquette who looks a little like a bloated John Cusack), a slacker who can’t hold down a job and who thinks life is a big joke.  The movie opens with him about to get fired from yet another job when suddenly a loud, ear piercing noise comes out of nowhere and makes everyone in the entire city (and country??) black out.  A few days later Cooper wakes up to find himself and everyone else in giant cocoons.  He gets out, releases the others, and discovers that Volkswagen-sized beetle-like creatures are responsible.  So the survivors set out to Cooper’s house because his dad (the always great Ray Wise) is an ex-soldier and survival nut who built a bomb shelter and stocked it full of supplies.  It’s a bizarre plot that never offers an explanation about the huge beetles; they are apparently an alien race that just show up one day and that’s that.  There’s also a few scenes of human beings that have been turned into some kind of odd human-spider hybrid creatures that are helping the invading beetles round up the humans.  They are pretty creepy looking (at least to me since I fucking HATE spiders.  Click here)!!

You know me & spiders; this was creepy to me!!

I also like that the characters aren’t so cookie-cutter-ish (is that a friggin’ word??) for this kinda flick.  Cooper is kind of a douche and his love interest Sara, the ass-kicking college student (Brooke Nevin) comes of as a bitch, but they both end up being rather likable and you find yourself rooting for them.  The whole flick plays like a 50’s creature feature and Rankin pulls it off by keeping the plot moving fast (he wastes no time in getting to the “infestation” … literally within the first 10 minutes), giving us some passable f/x, and keeping everything “light.”  Rankin never takes this material seriously and doesn’t expect the viewer too either.  Most of this film works pretty well as a horror-comedy (Cooper’s interactions with his dad are pretty funny), and the humor and horror are separated enough so one element doesn’t take away from the other.  But unfortunately this flick fails in one important aspect; the ending.

Ray Wise in another great performance!!

What the hell was Rankin thinking with this ending?  Our three surviving characters are walking on the street when one points to something in the distance.  The other two look up and one says, “Whoa,” while the other says “Holy shit.”  And then the screen goes blank.  The end.  Seriously?  WTF??!!!?  Is that a lame ass attempt to set up Infestation 2?  It’s a shame because the ending turned an otherwise enjoyable, fun movie into something frustrating that leaves you feeling like you missed out on the punchline.  Did they run out of money on the last day of shooting and couldn’t afford to show us what was off in the distance?  I don’t think so.  I think Rankin was trying to be clever.  A swing and a big miss.

Pucker up!!

Besides the ending this is a pretty fun giant creature invasion movie that has  some good laughs and some decent looking creatures (especially the human-insect hybrids).  This is a fun one to throw on with some buddies and beer.  I’m sure it’ll be on the SyFy Channel soon; keep your eyes open for it.

My Summary:

Director:  Kyle Rankin (and writer)

Plot:  3 out of 5 stars

Gore:  2 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem:  0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

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Comments
8 Responses to “SyFy Corner: Infestation (2009)”
  1. autumnforest says:

    Oh, you know I gotta see it! I can’t turn my eyes away, like driving by an accident… Has great elements for a little MST 3000 evening!

    • Its actually better than your standard MST3K movie (but as we both know, ANY movie can be MSTied). Its just that goddamn ending that blows it!!!

      • Shawn says:

        I think you were overly harsh on this movie. Sure, we all have different opinions. But you’re judging an ending that was put in place to set up for a sequel that’s supposedly in production.

      • I think I was dead on with my review of Infestation. I liked it; it’s a fun movie. But the ending totally sucked ass. I hate movies that blatantly leave an opening for a sequel (whether its made or not). Unless you’re specifically setting out to make a trilogy (Star Wars, LoTR, etc …) filmmakers need to just end their movies, in my humble opinion.

  2. Ifaz says:

    I had fun watching it. I thought it was better than regular Sy-fy flick.

    Also, High-Plains Invaders was pretty fun! I mean the western set-up was great, but cheesy cgi(*sigh*) was present. And there’s this other problem, unintentionally funny(dont you love when that happens?lol) But the characters were quite likable, very good acting for a Sy-fy flick, interesting easter egg etc. So, overall a decent film.

  3. Lew says:

    In your review you missed the point about the end – it wasn’t a set up for a sequel it was the Deaf guy ‘playing the game’ of made you you look that Cooper was getting fired for – not the best choice of ends though as his dad had already done that before being blown up but apart from that spot on review for a more than entertaining s##t horror film.

    Good work soldier :-)

    • I don’t know Lewis; I haven’t seen this one in a while but I remember the ending pretty clearly. The remaining cast members were clearly looking at something off in the distance. I’d bet dollars to donuts that that was a set up for a sequel. Whether that sequel will ever be made I can’t say!! :-)

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  • Some of my favorite horror movies:
  • Dawn of the Dead (1978)

  • Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987)

  • Martyrs (2008)

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