Crawl (UK - BD RB)
Our Marcus has a night in and then a hitman turns up with a wedding ring...
Marilyn (Georgina Haig) is waiting for her boyfriend Travis to come home from a trip to propose to her but when there’s a hitman in town, who accidently runs Travis down in a freak car accident, things take a turn for the worst. The Croatian hitman, decides to cover his tracks after checking Travis’s I.D. and heads to Marilyn’s home in the middle of nowhere, where she waits alone…
Crawl is slow moving, largely silent and all about tension. Stealing largely from the thrillers of old, The China brothers director/producer team opt for the classic approach to their small tale of Australian terror. Most of their minimal cast hold every scene they are in and their subtle performances sell any given situation, which is no easy task considering the fact most scenes are relativity dialogue free and more about mood.
The gore is kept to a minimal and the straight forward task of having a killer in your house is played out well with beats spread out well to generate the desired “don’t go in there” responses from the audience. There’s the odd tacked on scene around the edges, mainly in the local bar where most of the additional, almost comedic scenes are wholly unnecessary even if they are entertaining enough.
Crawl winds up being a solid calling card for the China brothers. It’s far from exceptional but it shows a solid understanding of how to do a modern horror playing by the classic rules and they squeeze a fair bit out of their cast’s performances, even with the minimalist set up.
Well this presentation really was really quite impressive. We are immediately shown the bright, warm palette of colours and it’s all backed up with plenty of rich detail and wonderful textures. As we head into the night, the blacks are nice and deep, adding more depth to the image and light sourcing is the final notch to make this an all round great looking disc. Edges are nice and sharp, the image is wonderfully clean and the relativity low budget of this independent film is barely felt at all as the look of the film is very polished and professional.
Crawl is a quiet film and it does quiet very well indeed. Crickets chirping can somehow add tension and the Jaws-seq dread filled score knows exactly the right pace to build up to the big scares. Dialogue is crisp and strong and when the track demands it, the punchy raw power of elements work wonders. Gunshots, impacts, door slams, they all ramp up the volume in all the right horror fuelled places and come with a real presence in the track. This is all very subtle and well though out and it works very well here indeed.
The commentary with Alan Jones along with director/producer team Paul and Ben China is largely about the twin brothers road to filmmaking but also offers up quite a lot about the film’s production. Alan Jones knows his stuff, so asks all the right questions at all the right times and the brothers are clear and enthusiastic about their responses. This is a solid track with plenty of detail.
‘Frightfest Interviews’ (12:00 HD) largely repeats a lot of the information on the commentary tracks with the two brothers talking about their background, their influences and the film's production. There’s also a ‘Cast Interviews’ (04:45 HD) collection but it’s not really long enough to get the goods out of. Last up, there’s the film’s trailer.
Crawl was a good horror/thriller if you like your tension drawn out at every given turn. The girl alone in a house set up is classic stuff but still plays out with a fresh feel to events and the only real downside is somewhere in the middle of the film there’s a bit of a lag due to the need to involve other players in the small Australian town. The disc looks and sounds great, has a good commentary and a few basic interview selections. This is a good option for a small scale late night horror selection because it does the basics well but still manages to create its own personality in the wide, wide world of low budget horror.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 24th February 2013
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Extras: Commentary, Interviews, Trailer
Easter Egg: No
Director: Paul China
Cast: Georgina Haig, Andy Barclay, Paul Bryant, Lauren Dillon,
Genre: Horror and Thriller
Length: 80 minutes
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