Reviewbr> "What the hell have you Frankenfucks been up to down here?" - Wiki
Something very wrong has gone down 200 feet below ground at Australia's isolated military research base Pine Gap. Communications have been lost with the base since a garbed series of messages indicated it was under attack from unknown forces. A number of Special Forces units are despatched to infiltrate the base, rescue any scientific personal still alive, and terminated any and all test subjects with extreme prejudice. It should be a pretty straight forward exercise but a new danger lurks in the darkened corridors and crawl spaces of the facility.
Things almost immediately go wrong with a number of units coming under attack. Romeo leads a four man unit deep into the facility where they discover a test subject, a woman apparently called Eve. Contrary to orders Romeo stops his unit from shooting the woman due to her being his former wife! From there things get real hallucinogenic as the unit tries to make it back to the surface while being hunted by something they can't begin to comprehend.
While watching Crawlspace, a claustrophobic? voyage into nightmare, you pretty much get the idea Director Justin Dix and his follow writers spent their informative years playing Doom while watching Aliens on a big arse television. And I wouldn't bet against Dix's crew having also a passing interest in Scanners. There's not a lot new going down in Crawlspace but the ingredients are given a good stir and served up with a fair amount of panache to good effect. Don't expect anything to surprise you while watching the movie and you are guaranteed a pretty good time.
Dix doesn't waste any time getting the action underway, the Director knows his audience, and even more impressive Dix doesn't take his foot off the accelerator throughout the movie. It's this high octane approach that will keep you rocking as Romeo's team negotiate the tight corridors and gradually discover just what they are up against. If you aren't high fiving your mates by about the midpoint of this movie then you are probably on life support and should stick with romance movies. I haven't had this much fun with a Sci-Fi action flick since Arnie took on that alien in Predator. Yeah I'm going to admit it Crawlspace is a blokes movie, send her out shopping and slap this bad boy on yo!
One of those movies that will keep dudes happy while chicks seek something else from the DVD library
As opposed to previous movies that pretty much follow the same plot, Darkness Lurking comes to mind, Dix and his cohorts add some extra depth to proceedings so we can at least pretend that we aren't watching simply for the action. Okay while the character development elements aren't likely to have Critics swooning like teen chicks at a One Direction concert they are enough for a movie coming at you from this view point. Each of the characters carries some baggage with them and ultimately it will be their faults that define their fates. Okay that might not explain the human condition to any great degree, but by hell it allows a rampaging gorilla monster thing in the corridors, what were you expecting The Devil Wears Prada or something?
Director Dix is pretty much on behind the camera, we're getting some fly shots, a feeling of claustrophobia, and if I'm not mistaken a more gritty tone than we have come to expect from this sort of movie. Add in an excellent feeling of menace, okay the audience cotton on to what is happening well before the characters, but you are still wondering what else the movie has coming at you. I was just rocking out to the water dripping off inexplicable chains hanging from various ceilings, and the overall atmosphere that didn't bode well for the military. Dix has constructed a well past good action movie but has managed to add the atmosphere and tension without smudging the overall direction the movie is heading in.
One of the dangerous in "tunnel" orientated movies is getting the lighting right, too much and it appears false, too little and you run the risk of people not being able to actually see what is going down on their screens. Crawlspace gets it absolutely right with some bright lite areas, that don't appear to be artificial, and other areas being lighted by incidental sources - gun torches, strobes, etc. Full marks to the lightening crew that keep it exactly right and blur what you see to force the audience to concentrate on the visuals. There's a little bit of filter in use so expect some interest in how things appear on your screen.
The writing team of Eddie Baroo, Justin Dix, and Adam Patrick Foster just can't resist the military banter the Yank movies throw up in Sci-Fi outings, the sort that is actually noticeably missing in actual military units. Thankfully it's not over the top and distracting from what's going down on the screen, that approach gets real irritating real fast. About the only issue I had with the Writers was the under developed characters, but horses for courses we're not watching On Golden Pond here, I'm after some fire fights and shocks rather than an exploration of the human soul.
Almost forgot to mention that Crawlspace is nicely blocked by the introduction scene, that gets explained as events develop during the movie, before things come a full 360 degrees in the penultimate scene. I'm a sucker for a movie that presents a situation and then explains it before showing the immediate aftermath of that situation. Two thumbs up for Eve knocking herself out on the overhead pipe and being disorientated; watch the movie to get the good oil there.
While the violence does reach satisfactory levels, without going completely over the top, any thoughts of T&A is a distance memory as the end credits roll. A safe movie for the tweens to watch without affecting their sensibilities, while older fans might find Crawlspace a little bit tame.
Acting is by and largely solid without the Academy worrying overly that they missed a performance worthy of a gong. Each of the military characters were distinctly drawn and no one left you wondering who exactly he or she was later in the movie. Eve (Amber Clayton) was the best drawn of the characters with Clayton nailing the various aspects of her elusive role. And two thumbs up for the few Scientists we are exposed to, they bring the "mad" back into the equation, the three major ones are dragged kicking and screaming from David Blyth's Death Warmed Up.
I was recently in JB scoping out the new releases and scored Crawlspace on DVD thinking it was actually another Aussie movie due for release. There was no disappointment in the mix up, I got a pretty good blokes' movie that entertained till next Sunday without overly taxing my brain cells in the process. There's something to be said for a flick that simply tries to keep you interested rather than going all arty and making you wonder if you should put a load of laundry on. Full recommendation to fans of action movies that are after some mayhem for a Saturday evening with the lads while her in doors is out drinking baby champs or something. While my Wife would probably dig this one, action movies are her thing, I'm not going to hoist the same recommendation on our other female readers. Crawlspace is a very solid entertaining movie that I'll certainly be watching again sometime soon.