INFINI [Edinburgh Film Festival]

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Marshall

When Infini, humanity’s furthest outpost mining hazardous material from an uninhabited planet, becomes compromised by a crazed worker after a biological outbreak, a rescue team are sent in to prevent imminent disaster. What they find there takes them to the very edge of reason, sanity and coherence as the very future of mankind itself is threatened.

Infini’s initial setup of most of humanity living in poverty and taking dangerous jobs to survive makes for an interesting setting with many avenues of potential, which makes it rather frustrating that it has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the rest of the film. After a promising start, many great ideas are disregarded or forgotten, in particular the idea of slipstreaming, teleporting by way of matter being turned into information and transmitted anywhere in the universe. Nothing is made of the dangers proclaimed (“data corruption”), while the associated time dilation, meaning that what takes place in a matter of minutes on Earth plays out over hours and days from the perspective of those transported (presumably for reasons to do with relativity but without any accompanying explanation), has no true relevance to the plot. It’s like someone mapped out an intriguing sci-fi world complete with neat touches, but was then unable to tell an actual story within it, so instead opted for a simple ‘search and rescue mission gone wrong’ plot, but in space.

Speaking of the story, the inspiration and influence of late-'90s sci-fi horror Event Horizon is writ large and loud across every moment, from dankly-lit rooms and tunnels of the desolate and compromised metal tomb, the empty darkness of deep space, and the slowly eroding sanity of the characters due to mental influence by unknowable external forces. Hell, there’s even a riff on the “I am home” moment, although with far less impressive shock appeal.

Such familiar plotting might have been forgivable were it not for the bland characters. If someone doesn’t make enough of an impression for you to remember their position in the team, let alone their name, it’s a safe bet to say you won’t be shedding any immediate tears when they snuff it.

There are a few neatly gruesome horror moments that make an impact, such as visceral gore frozen from exposure beginning to melt into gelatinous puddles after hitting room temperature or the glowing red eyes of encroaching madness from alien parasitic infection, but it’s not enough to truly maintain your interest.

Infini displays well enough its dark and grimy vision of the future, with the realisation of industrial sci-fi technology and how people’s lives become affected by such advancements, but it lacks the follow through to capitalise on its ideas or required sense of humanity to make you actually care.

INFINI / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: SHANE ABBESS / SCREENPLAY: SHANE ABBESS, BRIAN CACHIA / STARRING: DANIEL MACPHERSON, GRACE HUANG, LUKE HEMSWORTH, LUKE FORD, BREN FOSTER, DWAINE STEVENSON / RELEASE DATE: TBC

Expected Rating: 8 out of 10

Actual Rating:
 


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