Infested (2024) Horror Movie Review : Creepy Crawly Spider Terror

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A character from 'Infested' in the dark uses a lighter tries to see if any spiders are nearby

What's It About and Is It Worth Watching?

In a desert in the Middle East, a group of dubious men hunt for spiders. Despite the risk of facing deadly spider bites, they manage to capture their target. The scene then shifts to France, where we find ourselves in a somewhat shady pawn shop. Our protagonist, Kaleb, an enthusiastic collector of exotic insects and a sneaker dealer, comes across the captured spider for sale. 

Intrigued, he purchases it along with a necklace for a friend's party later that evening. Lacking a suitable container, he temporarily keeps the spider in a shoebox, but, due to water damage, the spider escapes and rapidly multiplies. 

Within hours, numerous residents succumb to spider bites, the police seal off the building, and the entire block becomes overrun by spiders. The once humble flats now resemble an insect-infested cavern, with no means of escape. 

While Infested is often categorized as a horror film due to its creature feature horror elements, it actually offers much more depth. The initial focus of the movie lies on the community of working-class and immigrant residents, commonly found in cramped tower blocks across the Western world, and it delves into their relationships, histories, and sense of community.

After the death of the first resident, the police arrive and hastily conclude that there might be a viral outbreak , leading to a strict quarantine, and tensions between the residents and the police escalate, culminating in a tense confrontation. While the film could have focused solely on the spider threat, it incorporates social drama as well with a clear message about police-community relations.

But of course, the main draw of a spider movie is the spider action. Once the community realises they are stuck and what is actually happening, the danger escalates rapidly, with the residents trying to contain the threat. 

Moments of despair intensify, such as when Kaleb and his friend Mathys witness spiders emerging from a deceased friend's mouth. The tension peaks as survivors navigate a perilous corridor, with the looming threat of police intervention ading to it all. 

Throughout the film's second half, there is a relentless onslaught of creature attacks, devoid of any relief or hope. Infested portrays the animal kingdom at its most ruthless and terrifying, and if such exponentially growing spiders existed, humanity would be at their mercy, merely tenants on their planet.

But if the thought of bugs makes you flee the room in terror, it's best to steer clear unless you want to be haunted by nightmares for days. But, for those unfazed by the arachnid threat, Vaniček's confident debut, with its excellent production design and strong performances, stands out as one of Shudder's finest offerings in recent memory.  

It is clear that even in the early stages of his career, Vaniček proves himself as one of those directors who truly understands how to ramp up the suspense. Infested, with its relentless tension, pays homage to French masters while introducing a contemporary, adrenaline-fueled style. Vaniček will be taking the reigns on an upcoming Evil Dead spin off, too if you're interested to see more of what he does.

In closing, I will say that the movie features some brilliant sequences that few movies or TV shows can match. It's harrowing and grim and if you were a bit disappointed by Sting, or even if you weren't, this movie is a must watch, and I would give it a 7.5/10.

The French do not play around when it comes to horror movies

Watch the trailer for Infested

Have a read of some other 2024 horror movie reviews.

Late Night With The Devil
The First Omen