It would be fair to say the themes within Travis Milloy’s Infinity Chamber are verging on those present in generic sci-fi. Hints of a dystopian world, a corrupt, ruthless government, and both subtle and obvious nods toward Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985), George Orwell’s 1984 (1984), and a host of others. And yet, there is something intriguingly original in how Milloy assembles the borrowed parts, creating a film that tantalises to the end, keeping familiarity just out of reach.
Abducted and imprisoned in an ultra-modern facility, Frank’s (Soren Kelly) sole interaction is with a black globe hanging from the ceiling of his lacquered cell. With an all-seeing-eye ‘Howard’ attempts to guide Frank as his LSO (Life Support Operative), declaring its one goal is to make his time as pleasant as possible.
Soren Kelly delivers a truly engaging performance as Frank; haunted, and confused, by memories or visions of what he remembers from his life prior to imprisonment. Working back through the often vague and varying images he tries to assemble a coherent narrative for his incarceration, while constantly trying to outwit the largely benevolent Howard. As the audience, you learn as Frank does, dissecting the flashbacks he seems partly in control of, all the while attempting to work out just what is going on in the present.
Where Infinity Chamber
is particularly strong is in its simplicity. Centred largely on two locations - the cell, and the coffee shop that is the focus of Frank’s memories - the narrative remains tightly woven, with rough edges kept to a strict minimum. Dialogue is often sparse, as each interaction is carefully constructed to either add depth to the mystery of Frank’s past or slowly fill in the gaps in his present. Skillfully, Milloy balances the elements to keep you intrigued, and when the revelations come they are both justified and strangely expected.
If there is a downside, it is in the partial repetitiveness of some of those interactions. As the mystery slowly unfolds, moments are revisited time and again and while purposeful in drawing out the plot along ambiguous lines, occasionally serve to frustrate. A fine balance must be trodden, and while Milloy largely handles that line with style and conviction, one or two scenes feel somewhat superfluous.
That said, these are minor criticisms for a film that achieves exactly what it sets out to do. As a genre film, there is more in Infinity Chamber
to justify the sci-fi thriller moniker than you’ll find in much of whatever property Hollywood chooses to recycle. Wholly original it may not be, but this is a film that proves what can still be done when a good idea is implemented well.
INFINITY CHAMBER / CERT: TBC /DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: TRAVIS MILLOY / STARRING: CHRISTOPHER SOREN KELLY, CASSANDRA CLARK, CHUCK KLEIN / RELEASE DATE: VOD OUT NOW