Sunday, 13 December 2015



I've always loved space/horror movies. Any movie that's set on spaceships, space stations, colonies or deep space research bases, I'm generally far more interested than if they're set in Frinton or a small town somewhere in the Mid-West. Granted, apart from the Alien franchise (and not all of them) there aren't that many genuine space-based classics and there are more than a few utter stinkers (Dracula 3000 and Leprechaun 4 in particular), but I'll always cheer schlocky SF films as diverse as Inseminoid, Event Horizon, The Last Days On Mars or Titan Find.

The shadows of Event Horizon in particular loom long over this low-budget SF/horror effort and, for the first half at least, it's pretty enjoyable. Something inexplicable has gone wrong on Infini, the remotest mining facility in the galaxy. A rescue squad is despatched via "slipstreaming" (instant teleportation), but when they return they've been infected with some kind of primordial contagion; a second squad is immediately sent to find out what happened and bring the sole survivor home....

It's a pity that much of the second half of Infini degenerates into endless scenes of people beating each other up and needlessly swearing. I'm not usually fussed about bad language in movies but on this occasion it does feel overdone, and the characters aren't really well enough drawn or sufficiently distinct from each other to persuade you care very much about what happens to any of them. And given that it's highly likely that by this point the entire team is infected, you can't help but wonder why they're fighting anyway. Meanwhile, a potential subplot about your data stream being corrupted by unauthorised or excessive slipstreaming goes sadly unexplored.

More damagingly, the film's resolution is (without getting too spoilery) a huge Star Trek cop out in which peace and love win out over conflict and hate. It's a very nice SF idea about aspects of humanity but it does feel slightly out of place after an hour of contagion horror and thumping violence. I could also have done without the old device of the hero needing to get back home to his pregnant wife for his child's imminent birth.

It's a pity because Infini is pretty well mounted on a technical level (I'm all in favour of lens flare, for no other reason than it looks good) in spite of the low budget. Sure, the set design of the Infini facility doesn't look that different from a hundred other genre movies, or even the more ambitious episodes of something like Doctor Who or Red Dwarf, but it's well used and well shot. The use of an interplanetary transporter beam means there are no actual shots of vast spaceships or even starfields, but it does also mean we can cut to the action that much quicker. Perhaps too quickly: the film doesn't waste very much time pitching you in at the deep end, but I'd rather that than being steadily spoonfed information before anything happens.

For all its flaws, I quite enjoyed Infini, though interest definitely dropped off in the second half. But it's well put together, has some interesting ideas and looks great. It doesn't hang together overall but there's enough good stuff in there to get by, and you've certainly seen a lot worse on a higher budget. No Event Horizon, but no Doom either.


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