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Review: Infinity Chamber

Released this week on VOD, Infinity Chamber is a new twisty sci-fi movie from writer/director Travis Milloy, who previously wrote and executive produced the Ben Foster/Dennis Quaid movie Pandorum.

Starring Christopher Soren Kelly as Frank Lerner, a man who lives in a future under the thumb of the automated ISN security force that is being opposed by an opposition force looking to stop them and their human and civil rights violations.  Frank is arrested for seemingly no reason and placed into a prison cell without trial that is controlled by HOWARD (Jesse D. Arrow), an AI designed to keep him alive until he’s “processed”, and which also contains a device that probes Frank’s mind looking in his recent memories for the evidence to either convict or acquit him.  Kelly and Arrow have an excellent and very theatrical back and forth and most of the movie is two hander conversations between the two of them with Frank growing more desperate and HOWARD remaining frustratingly chipper and unrelenting in his adherence to his protocols.  There are definite shades of HAL 9000 in HOWARD but he genuinely seems to want to help and the movie does a great job of making you want to trust and not trust him as the movie goes on.  Frank eventually learns he can possibly control the probing of the device in his cell from a fellow prisoner, played by Cajardo Lindsey and is fantastic in his brief role and seems like a young Forest Whitaker, especially as he gets crazy and desperate.

If you’re a fan of things like Black Mirror, then Infinity Chamber will probably be right up your alley, although it lacks the typical gut punch finales that define Black Mirror and I felt like things didn’t really fully click together plot wise.  The rules of how the mind probing device work are fairly nebulous throughout the movie and there’s a certain point where it’s power goes well beyond anything we’ve seen but there’s never a how or why of how that actually worked.  There’s also a barista named Gabby (Cassandra Clark) who exists in the dream world who becomes an ally of Frank but a montage blows past how Frank is able to get her to retain knowledge every time the memories are reset.  I definitely don’t need everything explained but some of the best sci-fi movies have set rules and then the fun and excitement is seeing how the characters break those rules and that’s slightly lacking in Infinity Chamber.  I do love to see people trying to escape from single locations and Frank has some great moments of learning HOWARD’s power cycles and using the small amount of items in his cell to try and escape.  The beginning half or so of the movie especially does a great job of slowly doling out details about where Frank is and what HOWARD is and what his and the cell’s capabilities are.

Infinity Chamber is a solid sci-fi movie with some interesting concepts and an especially great pair of main characters that carries the movie even as it doesn’t quite click together plot wise in the end and lacks the sort of visceral twist you might expect from similar movies and TV.  It’s available iTunes, Amazon and VOD for your cable provider of choice and I would say check out the trailer and, if it looks intriguing, definitely check it out.

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