Minor spoilers below, in case you’re persnickety about those kinds of things. (And no, I have no clue what the tagline has to do with the movie.)
Here’s a movie I had expected to jot down as a guilty pleasure, yet found to be very good in its own right. Infinity Chamber is sci-fi for those who like the more grounded variety of the genre, one that at least seems somewhat plausible within its boundaries.
In a near dystopian future, we find Frank gazing at a photo, as two government agents storm in, stun-gunning him down. In an eponymous chamber, Frank wakes up finding his only companion to be Howard, a HAL-like AI. On the surface, Howard’s job is to keep Frank alive. For what reason? To access his dreams.
For Frank to sleep soundly, Howard provides him with (grubby) food and (disgusting) drinks. A selection of classical music pipes through the room to soothe him. His dream is always the same: Memories of his final day of freedom, from which the totalitarian regime wants to extract… something. Exactly what and why is unclear.
The questions amass. Is Howard really an AI? Who is Frank? Are we seeing his dreams? Are the dreams actually dreams, or is the perceived reality the dream? Who is the dreamer? Hints are strewn about, and interpretations are entirely subjective. Odds of catching everything in one viewing are minimal at best.
I like dystopian sci-fi, and Infinity Chamber scores well in that genre. It’s clear the ambition for the movie was more extensive than the budget — multiple scenes were filmed in writer/director Travis Milloy’s house — but creative tricks and an excellent performance from Christopher Kelly go a long way making up for it. Jesse Arrow’s does a fantastic job as Howard’s voice, too.
The internet is abuzz about the ending, with little to no consensus of what it means. In my mind, Infinity Chamber needs to be re-watched with a completely open mind, confirmation bias thrown to the wayside. I did notice some obvious hints of what it all did not mean, but I would lie if I claimed to understand where the movie landed. To me, it seemed like at a dark place. Many disagree. Others say the ending is inconsequential.
My point is that this is a movie you need to pay attention to if you want to enjoy the ride. Spotting the hints is a lot of fun. In some sense, the film reminds me a bit of the original Cube as far as the dystopian aspects go, though Infinity Chamber is executed better with its slick presentation.
Give it a view. It deserves it, and so do you.
Letterboxd summary: A man trapped in an automated prison must outsmart a computer in order to escape and try and find his way back to the outside world that may already be wiped out.
Ratings from around the web
|One Star Classics||3/6|