Infested (Vermines) poster

Living together in the apartment they once shared with their late mother, siblings Kaleb and Manon both have ambition but are moving in very different directions, he wishing to keep it just as it was in honour of her memory save for his bedroom which he has converted to a menagerie for his exotic pets, running an underground trade scheme to keep himself in ready cash, she wishing to renovate and sell to allow her to set up her own business as a builder.

An unusual desert spider Kaleb’s latest acquisition, it is not accustomed to captivity nor inclined to accept it, escaping the shoebox where it was initially held and moving into the ventilation shafts of the building where it multiplies, its offspring breeding in the hundreds and taking advantage of the new niche and pressures to evolve, growing rapidly to enormous size as the panicked inhabitants find themselves sealed in the building with the power cut, quarantined and left to die.

Infested (Vermines); Kaleb (Théo Christine) watches as the body of his friend Toumani is removed by the paramedics.

The relationship between the French working and ruling classes historically one of mutual distrust and antagonism, the police the heavy-handed go-betweens who enforce the rule of law with brutality while those on the lower rungs have no hesitation to riot should they feel provoked or disenfranchised, Infested (Vermines) is a film which might play very differently if set in a British or American inner city slum.

Directed by Sébastien Vaniček from a script written by Florent Bernard, the exteriors of the building are the Arenes Picasso in the cosmopolitan Noisy-Le-Grand commune on the eastern outskirts of Paris, an area known for its diverse population, but the interior sets are a darkened warren of interconnecting corridors and stairwells which become clogged by webs and the sound of the scurrying feet of the new arrivals, but while the invaders evolve the story repeats, each scene essentially the same only with bigger spiders and more of them.

Infested (Vermines); Moussa (Mahamadou Sangaré) realises he is not alone in his apartment.

Starring Théo Christine as Kaleb, Lisa Nyarko as Manon and Sofia Lesaffre, Jérôme Niel and Finnegan Oldfield as their friends Lila, Mathys and Jordy, all fortunately wearing hoodies, emblem of the council estate resident, there is a sense that this is a community where everyone knows everyone, emphasised by the party for Claudia (Marie-Philomène Nga), one of the first to become an incubating host for the next generation, Kaleb acting as a peacekeeper with a code of conduct which was not designed for the current situation.

The movement of the spiders convincing, pausing before they lunge with terrifying speed, certainly sufficient to give nightmares to arachnophobes, their behaviour is less interesting and never explored, a basic monster movie background rather than Children of Time, and consequently they never acquire a collective personality, Infested coming to rely more on the internal bickering of the survivors and the antagonism of the police, and consequently twenty minutes overlong for what it has to offer.

Infested will be available on Shudder from Friday 26th April

Infested (Vermines); Manon (Lisa Nyarko) must make the passage through the darkened corridor, though not quite alone.



Show Buttons
Hide Buttons