Reviewbr> "Remember, keep your focus" – Coach
Okay this is my second attempt at reviewing Crush. Way back when the site got started I wrote about this film and fell into a couple of holes waiting for new reviewers. Firstly I made the mistake of biasing my review with thoughts of Prey (2009) fresh in my mind. And secondly I didn't take into account the target demographics of Crush. In short I didn't focus solely on the movie in front of me and didn't view it as a young adult outing. Due to John V. Soto expressing dissatisfaction with the original review, hey name dropping, the decision was made to pull the review as it wasn't a fair and impartial statement on Crush. Long story short, here's review mark II and hopefully this is closer to the mark.
Julian is a foreign student studying architecture at the University of Western Australia who is one fight away from winning a national tae-kwon do championship. Things are going well for Julian what with the beautiful Clare on his arm and a group of supportive friends. He also scores a three month gig looking after a sensational mansion in Perth while the owner takes his family on holiday in Europe. About the only dark cloud over Julian is that he was banned from competing in martial arts in the U.S for dubious conduct, but hey he's righted the ship and is trying for plain sailing.
After moving into the mansion Julian meets Anna, the supposed niece of the owner, who really knows how to wear a bikini. Anna seduces Julian and his life begins to unravel dramatically. Clare finds out about his indiscretion, a University assignment goes missing putting in jeopardy his student visa, and he falls apart at the championship final losing both the title and his Coach. To make matters worse Anna has gone fatal attraction and she isn't what she first appeared to be!
Having been somewhat angered by the complete abomination that was made of his script for Prey, and hey who can blame him, John V. Soto decided to get behind the camera for the filming of Crush and get the job done right. Along with fellow Director Jeffrey Gerritsen, Soto presents a solid effort on the horror front. It's not as easy as it sounds folks. There's some nice touches added to the mix here, always love a POV from an unknown source, and the Directors manage to ramp up the tension as Julian discovers the full extent of what can go wrong with getting a piece of spare. The target demographics, tweens to young adults, are going to have nightmares after this one. I put the movie on for a couple of them late one evening with the lights out as I kind of like to see some suffering going down, said suffering was duly delivered. Please note we're not talking gore here we're talking good old fashion tension, atmosphere, and Directors scaring the poo out of people. So if after a movie for the young folk in your care then look no further if you don't mind exposing impressionable minds to horror concepts.
What's working for the movie is Directors Gerritsen and Soto taking time out to introduce their lead, and you have to say tragically bound, character. We know right from the start that Julian has a lot going for him, but more importantly we know that he is a flawed character so it comes as no surprise when Anna can have her evil way with him. The movie hinges around Julian's life going to pieces and the Directors nail this aspect.
If the first two blocks of Crush sets you up for Fatal Attraction (1987) via Swimfan (2002) then don't get too comfortable as the final act is going to blow you out of water. Anna really does have some secrets, the little minx, and things head on down town to the shock till you drop bistro as Crush aims for a knock out blow. I'm always up for a tension laced horror ride and Directors Gerritsen and Soto deliver one hell of a twist and a final act that will have you on the edge of your seat. The atmosphere and tension don't let up with one of the truly nasty final scenes in modern horror being delivered, the venom on Anna's final statement drips off the screen. Actually it sets things up for a sequel, and I certainly wouldn't be kicking that movie out of bed for eating crackers.
Before I forget, running out of room here, Emma Lung (Anna) delivers one of the great performances of modern day horror. Lung simply nails the whole obsessive Anna thing and puts the fatal into “fatal attraction”. Did I mention she looks great in her red bikini? Naturally Crush didn't win any awards as it's a dark genre movie and hey there must have been some shite boring people about minority groups that was more important. Just saying Emma Lung deserved an AFI for best Actress, not that I'm bitter about that or anything.
Okay am out of room here but a final mention of one of the weirder happenings in Australian cinema distribution. Crush opened in it's native Perth WA and actually won the weekend there, when was the last time a local dark genre flick could claim a win? Naturally our Distributors decided that wasn't enough to give the movie a National release! Local product continues to get the arse end of decisions in this Country even when they are far superior to the conveyor belt flicks coming out of Boredwood. National disgrace and all that.
I finally sat down to Crush with a couple of members of the movie's target demographics and found I had a lot of fun in country. Directors Gerritsen and Soto set you up for what appears to be a standard fatal attraction film and then they pull the rug out from under you in the final act. A very solid young adult movie that has some disturbing concepts coming at you. I would suggest giving the movie a go, it punches above it's weight, and delivers a solid dark genre experience. Full marks also for the multi meaning contained in the movie title. You may not want to marry the movie but you will certainly develop a crush on it.
ScaryMinds Rates this movie as ...br> br> Red bikini clad scary chicks going fatal attraction!