Infested (Overlook Film Festival) Review

We look at Infested, the spider film that earned director Sébastien Vanicek the chance to make the next Evil Dead movie.

Last Updated on April 9, 2024

PLOT: Residents of a rundown French apartment building battle against an army of deadly, rapidly reproducing spiders.

REVIEW: It’s been a long time since we were blessed with some good spider horror and right now, we’re fortunate to have multiple hitting the scene. Sting (which I highly recommend checking out Cody’s review) takes a more comedic approach, while Infested goes right for the throat. And they both have a place in our wonderful genre of horror. Because if there’s one thing that’s been missing, it’s those creepy crawlers we know as spiders.

Infested follows Kaleb and his sister as they’re trying to keep their lives together after the death of their mother. Kaleb is fascinated with bugs, and when he brings home an exotic spider, he makes the mistake of not properly caging it. What he unleashes onto his apartment complex is an unimaginable horror of deadly spiders that will not stop breeding and getting bigger and bigger. When I tell you that these spiders don’t play around, I mean that. Get ready to develop a slight case of arachnophobia.

Director Sébastien Vanicek was thrust into headlines earlier this year when it was announced he would be directing the next Evil Dead film. All the more intriguing is that he won the job because of his work on Infested. And it sure is earned. There’s a meanness present here that cannot be denied, with a wonderful blend of practical and digital effects. But his control of the camera made me really excited at all of the possibilities. The camera work here is top-notch, with some tricks being utilized to give the film more production value.

Théo Christine in Infested (2024).

Infested is extremely intense, making full use of its creepy crawly villains. Not since Arachnophobia have spiders been utilized so well in horror films. But don’t be fooled into thinking this has the same lighthearted humor as the Frank Marshall classic. This film is mean and never cracks a joke. The kills are brutal in their intensity while still staying within the lanes of realism. A great bit involves a timed light, which gets multiple payoffs. Hell, every setup has a great payoff.

One of the only real issues I had with the film was the main character, Kaleb (Théo Christine). Remember the guy from the Evil Dead remake who reads the book and unleashes bloody fury amongst his friends? That’s Kaleb. He’s one of those protagonists who constantly does ignorant things that result in chaos. He claims to be a big expert yet constantly makes mistakes with the bugs. He often comes across as a petulant child, which can be frustrating.

Infested (2024).

Despite being a spider movie, there’s still plenty of focus on the humanity of it all, though not all of it is pretty. Infested does a great job of highlighting how much the world doesn’t really care about singular events. So long as it doesn’t affect them, most would rather turn a blind eye. This furthers the trope of police doing more harm than good, giving the characters even less hope for salvation. The only people they can rely on are themselves.

I’ll be honest: I was rooting for every character’s demise by the film’s end. A man can only take so many dumb decisions and incessant screaming. But I’d argue it doesn’t really harm the story a ton, as most are watching for the spiders and that element is spectacular. This is simply a conduit of fear and with how rampant the fear of spiders is, I can imagine this affecting many. Because Infested managed to make my skin crawl in a way that I haven’t felt since I was a wee lad. And for that, I’ll be forever grateful.


About the Author

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Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.