Stylish, fun, and gross, “Infested” is the most effective spider-horror movie I’ve seen.


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“Infested” Plot Summary

“Infested” keeps the corners of its rooms dark and makes us confront our own phobias about who we welcome into our homes and society. Sébastien Vanicek’s feature-length debut finally makes its U.S. debut on Shudder, and it may be the most effective use of spiders in any horror film. The French horror movie conveys some of our worst fears about what could be found in any home while serving as a metaphor for how we treat marginalized people in society. “Infested” may take place in France, but its horror and story are universal. 

“Infested” takes us into the apartment building of Kaleb (Théo Christine), a sneaker seller with a love for bugs and a deep grief for his late mother. Kaleb is still in mourning, grasping to honor his mom’s legacy in their apartment building and struggling to pay the bills. His sister, Manon (Lisa Nyarko), is more realistic about their mounting bills and insists that they need to get rid of their place. The two siblings have a strained relationship, and Kaleb is more distant with friends than ever before. But one fateful night pits Kaleb and his four friends together as a horrific spider infestation spreads in their building. 

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Kaleb (Théo Christine) screaming for you to see the movie “Infested” (distributed by Shudder, directed by Sébastien Vanicek, 2024)

Kaleb acquires a new spider that he assumes is weak and on the verge of death. But little does Kaleb know—this spider is deadlier and more cunning than anything he has seen. After accidentally selling a box of sneakers with the spider inside, the spider is able to reproduce at a freakish rate. Over the course of one night, Kaleb, his friends, and the apartment residents are put into quarantine as the spiders wreak havoc on the building. 

Even if you’re not afraid of creepy-crawling creatures, “Infested” is effective in making you feel the danger crawling all around you. Vanicek’s film effectively demonstrates how we treat low-income people like the vermin we fear, while uniting us in the paranoia of our apartment being filled with unseen terrors. Stylish, fun, and gross, “Infested” is the most effective spider-horror movie I’ve seen.

Content Information

“Infested” is not rated but includes violence, gore, profanity, smoking, and lots of spiders.

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. “Infested” is originally titled “Vermines” in French. 

“Infested” General Information

Director Sébastien Vanicek
Screenplay By Florent Bernard and Sébastien Vanicek
Date Released April 26, 2024
How To Watch Shudder
Genre(s) Horror

Non-English (French)

Film Length 1 Hour, 45  Minutes
Content Rating Not Rated
Noted Characters and Cast
Kaleb Théo Christine
Manon Lisa Nyarko

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Kaleb (Théo Christine)

Since his mom’s passing, Kaleb has been struggling with grief and financial woes. Kaleb makes ends meet by selling sneakers, but he commonly butts heads with business partners and friends. His one love in life are his bugs. 

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Gran Turismo.”

Manon (Lisa Nyarko)

Manon is Kaleb’s sister and, in many ways, his foil. She has an actual paying job and works hard to make fixes to their late mom’s apartment. She has accepted their mom’s death, but Kaleb perceives her as rejecting their mom’s legacy. 

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“Infested” Review

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Let us know your thoughts in the comments:

  1.  What did you think of “Infested?” What were parts you enjoyed or felt could have gone better?

Highlights

Slick Close-Ups, Lighting, and Camera Movements Make a Cool Horror Film

“Infested” stays creative in how it portrays its horror and how its horror portrays us. Dim lighting, lots of shadows, canted angles, and close-ups of plenty of creepy-crawly creatures make maximum use of the possibility that spiders can crawl from anywhere at any time. “Infested” turns your apartment into a horror show. 

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Just one of many spider shots in “Infested” (distributed by Shudder, directed by Sébastien Vanicek, 2024)

Actors’ Chemistry Makes Believable Characters in a Horror Movie

There are moments in “Infested” when Kaleb and company argue about the best course of action. “Infested” mainly follows five friends and their horrific night in quarantine. They may scream and fight, but their motivations are rarely selfish and always believable. These are characters who are comfortable voicing their opinions and doing what’s necessary in order to stay alive. The writing and acting evoke empathy for this group and make the looming danger more suspenseful. 

On The Fence

Action Can Be Disorienting 

A sequence of our protagonists trying to escape to the roof is filmed with a handheld camera, as if we’re trying to run with them. The effect is intriguing, but since so much of “Infested” depends on darkness, we can sometimes be confused about what’s going on rather than afraid of what we don’t see. “Infested” goes far with its budget and premise, but its limitations may show in key moments of peril and leave us more disoriented than scared. 

Good If You Like

  • Horror movies, specifically with spiders

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Talk to Me
  2. The Blackening
  3. The First Omen

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.

Infested.jpg
Infested (2024) Review – A Stylish Creepy-Crawly Horror Fest
Overall
Stylish, fun, and gross, “Infested” is the most effective spider-horror movie I’ve seen.
Highlights
Slick Close-Ups, Lighting, and Camera Movements Make a Cool Horror Film
Actors’ Chemistry Makes Believable Characters in a Horror Movie
Disputable
Action Can Be Disorienting 
80

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