The seemingly unstoppable wave of sci-fi films released over the last two years, forcing us to confront a reality similar to but at extremis from our own, shows no sign of slowing up any time soon. Any film that stands out from the familiar mise-en-scene of iron grey arms bases, dusty luna landscapes and panoramic disaster zones is worth consideration.
Infini is a tense, kill-or-be-killed drama that sees newly assigned officer Whit Carmichael, played sympathetically by Daniel Macpherson, experience a luckless first day on the job. The West Coast black watch-style squad team he has joined is obliterated by a deadly, unexpected viral strain transported back from an abandoned mining station – ‘Infini’ – where one of the greatest natural disasters in history occurred: the contagion they were mining killed all 1,600 workers aboard the space mine. At risk of sudden death through lethal quarantine in his base, Whit performs the jump through space-time to desolate Infini in order to escape. An game of cat-and-mouse against the clock begins.
The eerily normal yet technologically enhanced world of Infini and the notion of the ‘time jump’, where individuals pass through space-time echoes, previously created the worlds of The Matrix and Inception. Yet here the majority of the action takes place in the more Alien reminiscent hell-hole of the abandoned space station where the ensuing game of hide, seek and obliterate feels at times almost like a video game. Weaknesses of a fairly unremarkable script and a lack of direction to the plot are overcome by a genuinely unnerving set-up where the enemy force, a supposedly strain of airborne lethal bacteria, remains unknown. An increasing number of unexpected, largely gruesome and essentially unexplained events in the opening half hour of the film successfully builds a real sense of dread at what the team will discover aboard the derelict mining station. Decent into the action is pacey and gripping, and the film sustains this tension throughout – fans of suspense and horror will not go away disappointed. Although the progressively desperate scenarios the team find themselves in, compounded by the growing darkness and destitution of the setting, do make it pretty hard to keep track of what’s going on.
Infini does not go as far as many films of its genre in delivering a chilling warning message; the extent of the fall-out aboard Infini is too intense, back-stabbing and convoluted and best enjoyed for its thrilling and continually shocking depths. But this is nevertheless a gripping thriller and an interesting offering from the Australian film industry, which, when compared to similar Hollywood blockbusters, feels a lot darker, edgier and more unsettling.
Infini does not yet have a UK release date.
Watch the trailer for Infini here: