DVD Straightjacket - Infestation

Synopsis:
Our hero, Cooper, awakes to find himself nauseous, weak and covered in webbing, hanging from the ceiling of an office where, just minutes ago, he started his new job. As he struggles out of his slimy prison he comes face to face with his opponent - a grotesque, powerful and very angry bug. All 3 ft of it. And so begins a hideous, nail-biting, comedic, all-action adventure to find a safe haven while constantly outwitting an infestation of monstrous proportions. As Cooper embarks on his journey, he befriends a ragtag group of survivors including Sara, a feisty attractive female. Although the situation is dire, Cooper can't help himself from trying to solve his dating problem while trying to save his life. Will they make it to safety before they are picked off one by one? And what other surprises are in store for our group of unlikely heroes?

Special Features:
Director's Commentary and Previews

Review:
What a fun little movie. Definitely not what I would have expected from director Kyle Rankin as a feature length follow-up to his Project Greenlight winner, The Battle of Shaker Heights. It has some of the same vibe to it, what with the lead characters in both movies being goofball nerds with certain issues of maturity to deal with. I guess Rankin's choice of directorial short projects that he participated in provided a pretty big hint, both of them being horror oriented and one of them even featuring a giant bug.

What we get here is the story of a geek slacker that is forced to grow up, embrace responsibility, and take charge of his life. It's pretty simple - if he doesn't, he's going to get eaten by giant alien insects. It also deals with parents letting go and allowing their kids to spread their own wings and go out on their own. Sounds pretty heavy for a movie about giant mutant insects that are trying to take over the world, right? Well, Rankin slips it all in their while making it gory enough, gooey enough, slimy enough, and creepy enough to excuse or accept his attempt at a moral lesson.

Chris Marquette, who many will find familiar from his role as the cancer-stricken Linus from Fanboys, plays the slacker Cooper. He does a great job at moving through different steps of maturity in a short amount of time and making it believable. The other real gem in this film is Ray Wise (Reaper, Twin Peaks) as Cooper's extremely domineering military father, Ethan. He plays the role of gung ho military leader with the greatest sense of humor. You can tell he really got into the role.

Let's talk the special effects. While they weren't really Lucasfilm quality, they were still not too terribly done. They were tolerable and definitely worked for the film. They looked a bit animated and CG, but it was not like SyFy Original Movie craptastic quality. It was a step above that I would say.

I keep finding myself comparing this to Zombieland. Obviously it's not as good as Zombieland, but it holds some of the same qualities and vibe as that film does. Imagine Zombieland, but instead of Zombies there's giant alien insects taking over. What you've got here is a cool movie you can enjoy for the Halloween season. It would probably be a lot of fun to watch this with a friend who has a phobia of bugs. Alright, so that does sound a little evil...but fun. (Review by Eric Shirey)



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