Thursday, May 29, 2014

Film Review: Crawlspace (2012)

Crawlspace (Review)
Australia/2012
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...like a fan movie comprised of their favorite SciFi horror scenes and concepts..."

A group of soldiers are sent into a secret underground government facility after receiving a distress call and losing contact...

Crawlspace is a straightforward SciFi horror film. The story continues to follow this group as they are ordered to kill the escaped prisoners and rescue the surviving workers. The job is complicated when the team leader finds Eve (Amber Clayton), someone who resembles his presumably dead wife. It's further complicated when this group of elite soldiers find themselves facing off against the labs experiments. And, it's even further complicated when they begin to experience hallucinations. A film with a lot of ideas, Crawlspace leads to a decent ending.

Like I said, Crawlspace has a lot of ideas -- some very familiar and some slightly original. It starts off as a traditional "soldiers enter abandoned facility to kill" horror film, à la Resident Evil. Then, it switches to a monster horror film when they run into a biomechanical gorilla. And then, it switches to a hallucination horror film, messing on the idea of psychic soldiers. But, that's it: it a lot of ideas with little development or focus.

When I saw the biomechanical gorilla, I thought I was in for a treat; but, instead, it abandons that idea and opts for a more cliché hallucination plot. The ending also features another switch in focus, but I won't spoil it. This lack of focus makes it feel like a fan movie comprised of their favorite SciFi horror scenes and concepts, but with mediocre execution. Sure, it has some light suspense, it's atmospheric, and it throws a few jump-scares at you, but it never focuses, it's never consistent.

The acting ranges from mediocre to good. Amber Clayton is good, Ditch Davey is decent, and Peta Sergeant is mediocre; Sergeant suffers from some severe overacting. The film is shot decently, sometimes it's too dark. The setting was great, though, I really enjoyed the set design. There are some decent gore effects, too. Justin Dix builds some light suspense and decent atmosphere, but the story and direction are all over the place -- he lacks a consistent, confident, and creative vision.

Overall, Crawlspace had incredible potential. Unfortunately, it dwindles due to the lack of focus and originality. There is some decent suspense, some decent atmosphere, and a few surprisingly good jump-scares, but the meat of the film -- the story -- is severely flawed. I recommend a rental for this movie for fans of the genre, but it's not worth purchasing at full price.

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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