Director – Shane Abbess
Cast – Daniel MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth, Luke Ford, Bren Foster, Dwaine Stevenson, Harry Pavlidis, Harry Pavlidis, Kevin Copeland, Tess Haubrich
Release Year – 2015
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I was in the mood for some sci-fi/horror and came across this piece on Netflix. I had never heard of it before, but I liked its rescue mission storyline as it reminded me of the many space rescue films I enjoy. From an unknown director and a slew of unknown writers, Infini does well in sucking you in at the get-go. What results from that is a film with decent horror, some solid sets when considering its budget, and an overall experience that is almost as good as you’ll want it to be.
“By the turn of the 23rd century, 95% of the world live on or below the poverty line. As a result of this, many take dangerous jobs in the interplanetary mining, military, and space exploration sectors.” After a biological outbreak decimates the crew of an off-world mining site, an elite search and rescue team embarks to rescue the lone survivor, Wit Charmichael, as well as stop a devastating payload from reaching Earth. Little do they know, the rescuers will need rescuing themselves when they come face to face with an outbreak that should have been contained.
This story delivers one hell of a first act. It left me thinking there was a lot of promise to the rest of the film, and that I would maybe even find a new gem for the horror/sci-fi sub-genre. I can’t call this a gem after all, but I am glad to say the flick starts off well. This search and rescue mission is made possible thanks to Slipstream, which is a form of teleporting instantaneously to anywhere in the galaxy. Because of this and the number or black holes near the mining facility, the mission, while taking several hours, will only take less than a minute of relative time to complete. Pretty crazy, huh?. Things really kick into gear when the rescuers arrive to a frozen facility adorned with the dead and mangled bodies of those who perished at the hands of the virus. So what is going on with the virus? Basically it infects the human and they become maniacally mindless bubs that kill at will. The team learns of this first-hand when they defrost the facility and allow the virus to do its thing. From then on out, the story goes through a few twists and turns. Is Wit playing them and part of the problem, or does he have what it takes to be the solution? For a while the film will create more questions than answers, but will eventually make amends at the end.
While its first act is great I was lost about halfway through he second act. The story started heading in a direction that brought on the usual infected clichés. What made this worse is the character drama, which wasn’t executed well and instead left you not really caring for anyone living or dying. A decent and somewhat clever climax helps alleviate the doldrums, but by then it is always too late. One big reason the story kept losing me is that it is simply too long. Coming in at 110 minutes I kept thinking the film did not have the goods to maintain that runtime. It simply feels like it should not be as long as it is. Because of this, the pacing is off and you will feel it.
I was at least impressed with the sets, location, and most of the horror seen here. Director/co-writer Shane Abbess does a tremendous amount of work with the relatively low budget ($800,000), which is unheard of in modern sci-fi/horror. On top of this we are treated to mostly live-action effects, including lots of practical gore. This leaves me to believe that outside of the sets and effects there wasn’t much money leftover for anything else. Yet somehow they delivered a decent product in the end. The rest of the direction is so-so, with acting performances not selling the already lifeless characters. Nonetheless, considering the budget I am impressed with the end result. I just wish this had been a gem.
Overall, Infini is a decent horror/sci-fi that may suffice as a boredom watch if you need your space rescue fix. It gets things right where it matters, and its faults don’t make this a terrible watch.