Infested movie review & film summary (2024)

In Vanicek’s film, a young man named Kaleb (Théo Christine) collects a small menagerie of creatures and bugs in his room, much to the annoyance of his sister, Manon (Lisa Nyarko). While she’s busy refurbishing their old apartment to sell after the death of their mother, Kaleb’s future is less certain, and although many in his orbit think the worst of a hoodie-wearing young man with a side hustle of selling high-priced Nike shoes, he still tries to do what’s right for his neighbors. However, his passion for housing rare species by his bedside brings chaos into the apartment complex when a poisonous spider escapes and begins to lay its eggs throughout the building, leaving Kaleb, Manon, and their friends Mathys (Jérôme Niel), Jordy (Finnegan Oldfield) and Lila (Sofia Lesaffre) to fight for their lives. 

Our collective fear of spiders has manifested into its own horror subgenre. That includes the 1955 giant bug classic “Tarantula,” deadly spider infestation in a smalltown thrillers like “Kingdom of the Spiders” and “Arachnophobia,” the early aughts Blockbuster favorite “Eight Legged Freaks” and the aptly named “Big Ass Spider!” that followed kaiju-sized monsters quite simply too big to contain. Like its predecessors, “Infestation” taps into our fear (rational and irrational) about poisonous bites, quick moving spider colonies that set up webs over our homes, spiders becoming too big or deadly to control, and the unpredictability of their behavior—as any kid tasked with killing a spider could attest. 

But “Infested” feels somehow more intense as the threat is not just poisonous spiders or spiders of unusual size—it’s that they are simultaneously growing exponentially almost every time you see them on screen, they attack in packs, and their bite is pretty lethal. They will take up residence in a host’s body then crawl out of their victim’s skin. They capture others in their webs or conquer them in their own homes. No place is safe, and once the infestation sets in, the apartment building where Kaleb lives is put on police lockdown, trapping everything and everyone inside. In addition to the arachnid horror movies of yesteryear, Vanicek channels the camaraderie of “Attack the Block,” another invasion thriller where friends band together to fight off aliens, and the confined apartment terror of David Cronenberg’s “Shivers,” where parasite unleash violent sexual chaos in a posh complex.