Review: Shudder's Infested introduces us to eight-legged EEKS!

INFESTED - Courtesy Shudder
INFESTED - Courtesy Shudder /

Shudder is on a roll! French creepy-crawly film Infested is coming to the horror streamer on April 26, hot on the heels of the recently-added Late Night with the Devil. Both of these are powerhouse horror films, and prove that Shudder is serious about their originals.

I had the chance to watch a screener for Infested, and here’s my advice when watching it for yourself: Get all cozy (in the dark) and put your feet up. No, really…you’re going to want your feet as far off the floor as possible!

Our main character is Kaleb (Theo Christine), and he is having a hard time right now. Since his mother’s death, he and his sister Manon (Lisa Nyarko) are on the outs and he is estranged from his former best friend Jordy (Finnegan Oldfield). But the residents in his apartment building are all pretty close, even throwing a going-away party for one who is moving away.

In the opening minutes of Infested, Kaleb visits an exotic animal dealer and walks away with a venomous spider that joins the other reptiles and insects in his room. He transfers his new pet to a shoe box, which turns out to be a big mistake, since the creature manages to escape.

The title of the film lets you know exactly what’s going to happen next. That’s right, almost immediately, baby spiders are born, and the entire building becomes…well, infested. A single bite from one of these spiders is fatal, and they grown and multiply very quickly.

When the government gets involved, they shut down the low-income apartment building, quarantining the residents, who now must fend for themselves. And fend for themselves they do, strategizing ways to escape the predicament they are in.

INFESTED - Courtesy Shudder /

Infested is genuinely scary, even if you don’t have arachnophobia. Do the spiders get pretty large? Yes, but it’s the sheer number of them that will give you the willies, particularly when some of the characters are looking to escape down a long, dimly lit hallway absolutely coated in thick webs and icky, wiggly spiders. Ugh, I get the shivers just thinking about that scene!

Speaking of which: I highly recommend watching Infested on a television or computer/laptop screen rather than a phone. So many of the most intense scenes are set in near darkness that it’s hard to fully experience the events on a small phone screen.

Infested doesn’t play for laughs, the stakes feel very real

This is not at all a comedic spider story, it’s deadly serious and super-intense. Adding to the dread is the fact that the characters are all so likeable and sympathetic. I couldn’t help but feel for Kaleb, even though it was his own stupidity that caused the chaos, and the other residents of the building have just as much heart.

Director/co-writer Sebastien Franciek keeps things moving at a break-neck pace, and the sense of dread doesn’t let up after those darn spiders show up. Although the spiders are mostly cgi, they look so real that it’s disconcerting (and very creepy).

If you are looking for a horror movie that will genuinely unsettle you, check out Infested on Shudder.

The Devil's Bath coming to Shudder in June. Shudder: The Devil's Bath coming in June. dark. Next