Australian sci-fi thriller gets its UK premiere at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival
In a futuristic world Whit Carmichael (Daniel MacPherson) struggles to make a living as he and his wife, Lisa (Tess Haubrich) await the birth of their first child. Eager to make some more money Whit decides to join the elite squadrons who ‘slipstream’ throughout the universe. But as he nervously awaits his first slipstream all hell breaks out as the team before him returns from a deep space mining station with an alien infection. In a bid to escape the carnage Whit slipstreams to the outpost.
This means that another team on the opposite coast is then put together to rescue him. But with very little answers at their fingertips the rescue team which is made of people such as Claire Grenich (Grace Huang), Charlie Kent (Luke Hemsworth), Morgan Jacklar (Bren Foster), Chester Huntington (Luke Ford) and Harris Menzies (Harry Pavlidis) soon realise that something serious is about to greet them when they see that the very experienced and tough Rex Mannings (Dwaine Stevenson) is being sent with them. Even that though can not prepare them for the hell that they are about to embrace.
Amongst sci-fi fans Infini just has to be one of the most eagerly anticipated films of 2015. Anyone who saw director Shane Abbess’s debut film Gabriel knew one thing and that was this was a director with a gift. Gabriel is rightfully one of the best genre films ever made in Australia and it seems to have been a long wait to see what Abbess would do next and now it arrives in the form of Infini… a film that is worth the wait.
Viewers be warned though Infini is a film that is only going to be enjoyed by serious sci-fi fans, others could just be left by the way side scratching their heads. In a way Abbess has made Infini a dirty film. A film not only that has grime wherever you look on the screen but also a film that is going to mess with its audiences’ head in the same way the alien infection is messing with the characters at hand. Like them you are left wondering ‘what is real and what isn’t?’ and to the films credit it works.
Early on it feels like Infini is going to be your typical Doom computer game style movie with characters solving the problem at hand and then making it to the next ‘level.’ But it is there where Abbess turns the whole film on its head. He takes just about every Hollywood cliché and formula that you would expect in a sci-fi like this and then completely shatters them to the point where it is virtually impossible for the audience to predict what is going to happen next… and yes that is the way cinema is supposed to work, although the idea of making a film without sign posts seems like a foreign concept to most young filmmakers these days. Abbess also deserves credit for having the guts to kill characters whenever he pleases as well which only adds to the suspenseful nature of the film that is already enough to make your heart race throughout.
It is obvious that Abbess wanted to make Infini seem like a throwback to the genre flicks of the 1980s and 1990s and there are more than enough nods to classic films like Aliens to keep true fans of the genre happy. But the appealing part of Infini is that Abbess is also willing to try new and untried things. The almost schizophrenic scene between Whit and Chester is something that fans will remember for a long time after viewing this film while the ending is haunting and chilling enough to be one that you simply won’t forget.
One of the big surprises that many will have when viewing Infini will be the acting performance of Daniel MacPherson. Too many he is just the host of Dancing With The Stairs, many have forgotten that over the years he has built up an impressive acting resume that consists of popular shows such as Neighbours, City Homicide and The Bill. Here MacPherson puts in a terrific performance that will have Hollywood noticing as he calmly mixes dramatic character acting with some full on action sequences. Yes believe or not MacPherson steps up to the plate as a buff action hero and one of the highlights of the film is his physical fight with Luke Ford… a fight that also shows that Abbess can more than handle himself as a director when his characters need to get physical as well. Ford also puts in a credible performance throughout the film and scenes between him and MacPherson really pack some acting muscle.
Infini is the kind of film that you need to watch when you can give it your 100 per cent attention. Blink or turn away from the screen for even a moment and you’ll miss something that is going to be important later on. Part action flick and part sci-fi that goes as deep as Prometheus this is a film that once again shows why Shane Abbess is one of the best genre filmmakers around. With a surprisingly great performance from leading man Daniel MacPherson and an ending that is truly rewarding this is one sci-fi flick that is worth watching over and over… and yes this time around I am begging for a sequel. Infini is a surprise hit, an intelligent sci-fi film that really packs a punch.
Director: Shane Abbess
Starring: Daniel MacPherson, Luke Ford, Luke Hemsworth
Running Time: 110 minutes
Release Date: 7th May 2015