“I’m here to keep you alive, Frank. Shall we get started?”
Justin’s rating: So basically, this movie is Alexa: The Prison Warden?
Justin’s review: A man named Frank wakes up in an unusual high-tech cell. He is told that he has been detained. He is not told what his crime was, why he’s being held here, or where all of the other people are. He keeps reliving certain memories. And his faceless caretaker is seemingly impotent and unhelpful — unless you want soup, treadmill, or a toilet. That, he can do.
This is the instantly gripping setup for Infinity Chamber, a closed-room mystery, scifi drama, and prison saga rolled into one. Frank’s questions are our demand for plot details, and so we root for him to ferret them out from the room and Howard — and his own repeating memories. Maybe it even has to do with the cute barista Gabby who frequents Frank’s memories? Perhaps the Orwellian world that is glimpsed in bits and pieces along the way?
A confined setting can be an amazingly intriguing one if done right — just see Cube, or Moon, or Oxygen. I suppose it’s why the escape room craze is so popular. There’s something nifty about a singular location that is slowly peeled back to show layer after layer of secrets. And in Infinity Chamber, the prison is one of these, but Frank’s mind is another. Both have hidden depths, and both must be plumbed before egress can be made.
Infinity Chamber is a slow burn, though. It’s a really great 45-minute movie stretched an hour past that. This requires a tad bit of Groundhog Day-like time looping as Frank sees what he can do with his memories and why he’s being forced to relive them. Hint: It’s probably not altruistic.
It’s a prison movie, so I don’t think I’m spoiling anything to reveal that eventually there’s a prison escape. Or two. But this is where Infinity Chamber may frustrate a lot of viewers, because by the end of this action-packed segment, the movie closes on an ambiguous note that may do a lot to keep the paranoia alive but not to give us definitive answers.
Me? I’m not the biggest fan of “interpret this however you fancy” just to seem deeper. It’s hard to pull that off without announcing that the screenwriters (a) don’t have a good answer themselves and (b) want to seem more profound than they actually are. But I get it, and I get why Infinity Chamber is using every trick at its low-budget disposal to make an impression.
It’s good, really. And it makes me want a robot that can deliver coffee with cream on command.
- “You’re not being charged with anything. You’re being processed.”
- That is unappealing soup
- Frank knows a whole lot about computers