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INFINI (watch it here) has been on my radar since we’ve premiered the badass teaser here on AITH. I’ve been pretty stoked for it for a handful of reasons. 1- This is Australian director Shane Abbess follow-up to the slick low budget film Gabriel that broke him out onto the scene in 2008. 2- I love Australian genre cinema in general. 3- The sci-fi/horror subgenre is one of my favs. So! I finally got to tackle this mean-machine before its VOD release tomorrow May 8th 2015 – so was it worth my time? Damn straight it was!
INFINI reminded me of EVENT HORIZON (1997) and the more recently released THE LAST DAYS ON MARS (2013) in terms of structure and story elements and that is a compliment being that both were fine films. The affair started off with bang, tossed me and its lead characters into a disorienting mess and then dragged us through the mud fervently. I got to say it: I had a blast getting beat-down by this movie. The chain of events kept me on my toes and gradually got worse and worse for our heroes hence better and better for me the lowly audience member. The grungy meets kinetic visual style definitely elevated this one to a higher plane of f*ck yeah as well, alongside the eye popping cinematograhy (by Carl Robertson) and the retro production designs which slapped a grin on my face. The Blade Runner-esque city landscape, the down and dirty mining colony with old school ALIEN-ish computers (right down to the sound), the ray guns (yes ray guns)… I was in retro heaven!
Moreover, the cast of unknowns (to me anyways, maybe if I lived in Australia, that would be different) owned it and then some! Although Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth (yes, he’s the older brother of Thor), Louisa Mignone and Bren Foster all gave affable shows; it was Dwaine Stevenson and Luke Ford’s work that stood the most for me (they had more meat to chew on) while Daniel MacPherson gave a star making turn as Carmichael. I had never heard of Stevenson before, but I will keep tabs on him from here on out. The mix of vulnerable, tough and psychotic he gunned out hit the spot and then some! Add to all that quality some nasty gory moments, a rousing sci-fi score by Brian Cachia (nice little nod to the Predator score – same riff), potent moments of suspense (all about that crazy scene Stevenson and Ford shared...wow), a sly less is more approach to the visual effects (dug how they did the Sliptsreaming) and an ending that gave me a run for my brain cells and you get a solid indie Sci-Fi chiller; one that’s definitely worth the tap!
Any peeves? Well, some of the acting was a bit off at first, but it eventually settled. There’s was also one scene that pushed my suspension of disbelief button big time (Long and hard fall – nothing broken? Come on...). But I let that go in the name of having a good time. I guess the reason why IFINI is not scoring higher is that the whole did feel very familiar and once it dove into the nitty-gritty of it all, the story didn’t evolve enough for my liking. It mostly resorted to pulling a rinse and repeat in terms of its chain of events. I was hoping for more drastic turns in the narrative. Thankfully the final frames upped the game in terms of the WHO and the WHY and left me on a WTF challenging note, I just wish the story would have baffled me more during its middle section. But that’s just me and last I checked I don’t know jack or shit!
On the whole, if you’re a fan of horror/sci-fi, I have hard time imagining you not getting anything out of this well put together Ozzie mind trip! Give INFINI a whirl! It deserves at least one watch!