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Blu-ray Review: Infestation (2009, UK Release)

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There aren’t a whole lot of modern-day horror/sci-fi/comedy flicks that actually succeed in setting out what they accomplish to do: make me laugh. Most of the films that venture into the ambitious field of genre-crossing come off as stilted and irksome. Infestation, however, is a mini masterpiece.

Cooper (Chris Marquette) is about as big of a loser as they come: an apathetic prankster who has lived via the income of his militaristic father (Ray Wise) all of his life, slacking away. One Friday, as he is about to be fired from yet another job (as an Herbal Viagra phone salesman), he and the entire staff of his workplace are attacked by some sort of sonic bombardment. Cooper wakes up a few days later, wrapped in webbing — and soon encounters a very large insect-bug-critter-type-of-thing roaming around the premises.

But it’s not just the office space that’s been taken over: it’s the whole of the city — and perhaps even the world! But, the world can wait for now — the city has to find its way out of the darkness first. And so, Cooper awakens a number of other (equally goofy and incompetent) people, and the motley crew of neo-heroes attempt to survive in a destitute metropolis full of giant insect-bug-critter-types-of-things.

A low-budget wonder that has managed to earn its share of honors amongst the horror/sci-fi community, Infestation is a delightful film that manages to fly its B-movie spirit flag high. The story moves along quite quickly, without taking itself too seriously, and keep its audience entertained throughout.

Good news, US Blu-ray owners: the UK release of Infestation is region free — that means you can watch it on your PS3 or Blu-ray player without any problems. The Blu-ray release from the UK’s Icon Home Entertainment presents the movie on a 25GB disc and in a decent 1.85:1 widescreen ratio, with a 1080p transfer. The colors and contrast are pretty good for the most part, but viewers shouldn’t expect crystal-clarity here — especially given the film’s low-budget nature. Sound-wise, Infestation boasts a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, and a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround mix. I watched the movie with the DTS track on, and it came through just fine. English subtitles are also included.

Special features on Infestation are limited to an audio commentary with writer/director Kyle Rankin; a making-of featurette; and a theatrical trailer. The downside for American audiences here is that the latter two special features are presented in standard definition and in the PAL video format (which means you’ll only be able to watch the movie if you don’t own a Multi-Regional Blu-ray player). That said, this is a fun movie — and the UK release is the only way to see it in High Def.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.