Film critics end up on a lot of movie distribution lists and some days it can be overwhelming how many invitations we receive to watch indie, direct to video, or even direct to streaming movies. There are plenty of movie festivals too so that even the most banal of films can get some big screen time and garnered a few positive reviews. But are they all good? Do they all break new ground or offer an interesting or sly interpretation of a story we’ve already seen? Well… not so much.
The sci-fi thriller ‘Infinity Chamber’ falls into this category, a low budget indie film about a man who wakes up in a futuristic jail cell and has no idea what’s going on nor any recollection of being arrested. Locked room mysteries of this nature require some patience on the part of the viewer and most of the film focuses on Frank (Christopher Soren Kelly) trying to unravel the puzzle by interacting with a seemingly omniscient Siri-like computer.
The best parts of the film are his flashbacks — if that’s what they are — to a chic coffee shop staffed by a woman named Gabby (Cassandra Clark). When there, he variously wanders in to have coffee, flirts with Gabby, paranoidly hides from the government-controlled occupant scanning device on the wall or just sits, blankly, as other patrons swirl around him. Are these related to why he has been imprisoned? Or are these sequences part of the computer’s brain probe, seeking to extract information out of him?
There’s a good movie buried in ‘Infinity Chamber,’ but the film gets bogged down and Kelly isn’t a good enough actor to keep us anxious and eager to learn what happened, what crime he committed to be imprisoned, and how he can escape. The last reel wraps up the story by utilizing a sci-fi trope that left me feeling rather dissatisfied too. This is where a tiny twist at the very end a la ‘Inception‘ could have made ‘Infinity Chamber’ far more interesting, a surprise ending that would have given the entire story more depth. ‘Nuf said on that so I avoid spoilers, though.
Now available on various video on demand services, ‘Infinity Chamber’ is okay as a lower budget sci-fi film. Worth a watch if you tire of the big tentpole films, and it could be an interesting double feature with another futuristic prison film like ‘Escape Plan,’ though big budget vs. little budget would definitely come into play.