Spoiler-Free Film Review: “Infested” (Boston Underground Film Festival 2024)

March 27, 2024

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at josephperry@gmail.com. He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

Arachnophobes, unless you are approved for serious exposure therapy from your medical or psychological professional, you will almost surely want to avoid director Sébastien Vanicek’s Infested (Vermines; France/U.S., 2023). But for everyone who loves a good — and in this case I mean really good — spider attack horror movie, you will absolutely want to see the film.

Kaleb (Théo Christine), a twentysomething man trying to carve out a life for himself in a world that frustrates that goal at many a turn, lives with his sister (Lisa Nyarko) in an apartment that has seen better days and requires constant upkeep, which they inherited from from their late mother. The siblings have a strained relationship, and Kaleb also keeps other people at a distance, preferring to spend time with the exotic reptiles and bugs that he collects, though he considers the other building tenants to be more like family than merely neighbors. 

Infested movie

After Kaleb purchases a spider — the likes of which viewers know are dangerous, as shown in a cold open to the film — from a man specializing in black-market goods, the arachnid escapes Kaleb’s apartment, lays eggs, and the spiders multiply at an unfathomable rate, coming in various sizes, spinning complex webs all over the apartment building, and killing people at a steady clip.

Vanicek, who cowrote the screenplay with Florent Bernard, takes the fun of a B-movie premise and ups the dramatic level with characters who — though they might not be the squarest bunch around — are easy to root for, along with a dash of social drama. Christine leads the impressive cast with a memorable performance, and Vanicek ratchets up the suspense admirably. The spiders are reportedly both real ones and CGI creations, but anti-CGI viewers need not be worried about cheesy-looking effects. The spiders look great, and the damage they do to human bodies is also well rendered. The ultimate result is a creature feature that comes off as one more serious and more realistic than the usual fare in the subgenre, and it is a gripping blast to watch.

Infested screened as part of the 2024 Boston Underground Film Festival, which ran March 20–24. For more information, visit https://bostonunderground.org/. Infested debuts on Shudder on April 26.


Infested spider movie


Share This Article

You May Also Like…