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Infini

Year: 2015
Production Co: Storm Vision Entertainment
Director: Shane Abbess
Writer: Shane Abbess/Brian Cachia
Cast: Daniel MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth, Luke Ford

After Dog Soldiers, Neil Marshall burned hot and bright for a time, but after the very neat little horror flick the Descent, his next film – Doomsday – was a textbook example of how the new breed of movie geek brought up in the glory days of the 70s and 80s can cross the line too far into rehasing movies they love instead telling their own stories with elements of homage. It was a toneless rip off of Mad Max and Aliens that wasn't as good as either.

After his debut feature Gabriel, which was amazingly well done for the money spent, Shane Abbess has gone the same way, even homaging the same movie Marshall did (Aliens) to the extent that it's a pale rip-off with nothing really to recommend it.

Actually I'll correct that – there's one great idea that has a lot of potential. In the far future, we've figured out a way to digitize the signature of an entire human being and transport him or her to any point in far off space like sending an email through subspace warp.

I imagined all kinds of cool storylines where someone's file is corrupted and they lose their memory of their wife, or they end up missing some important part of themselves and end up going on an insane killing spree as a result, but after establishing it the script promptly squanders it, using it merely as a story device to have characters travel long distances when any number of other fantastical transport methods would have worked.

The long distance in question is a far off mining operation and commando Whit (Daniel McPherson) is put with a new squad and told to suit up and prepare to ship out to see why they've lost contact with the mine.

But as they're preparing, there's an emergency on the base. The prep room is locked down and poison gas starts to seep into the room – a measure to contain the threat even if it means sacrificing the soldiers inside. Desperately Whit's captain sends him off to the co-ordinates they had locked in for their trip and he disappears.

Later on, a squad of rough and ready soldiers (also ripped off from Aliens) follow Whit to the deserted base to find out where he's gone and what's gone wrong there. As they stalk quietly around the dark, metallic corridors with hissing pipes and the very same industrial aesthetic Alien established, the threat grows as they start to fall victim one by one to whatever alien organism has infiltrated the facility.

Where the designs and ideas behind James Cameron's aliens are still fresh in all our minds 30 years later, it's telling that I've all-but forgotten the alien life in Infini only about two weeks after watching the movie. If I remember correctly it's got something to do with some shape shifting ooze that can imitate people or something?

It's bad enough the central dramatic thrust of the plot is so incomprehensible, but when everything else about the movie is a poor cousin to something a director loves instead of something in their own voice, it's twice the letdown.

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