Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 19th, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: Australia, 2011
Director: Paul China
Writer: Paul China
Cast: George Shevtsov, Bob Newman, Georgina Haig, Baz McAlister, Lauren Dillon, Lynda Stoner, William Garvey, Penny Anne Hoffmann, Paul Holmes, Catherine Miller, Andy Barclay, Paul Bryant, John Rees-Osborne
DVD released: February 25th, 2013
Approximate running time: 78 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English
DVD Release: Arrow Video
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £12.99
Synopsis: A shady bar owner hires a hit man to take out one of his former associates’.
Though Crawl has all the elements that one would expect and want out of a horror film. The way in which these ingredients are mixed ultimately prove to be this film undoing.
After a well laid opening act that establishes, who everyone is and what their motivations are? The film starts to lose its way as the chaos that is unfolding on screen starts to erode away any good that came about from that aforementioned first act. With this film’s most glaring short coming being a killer who once had a motive for his actions becoming a by the numbers Slasher film stereotype killing machine.
Another area where this film often misses the mark are the performances from its entire cast, who’s performance only further make the characters that they are portraying all the more unlikable. With George Shevtsov’s performance as ‘the killer with no name’ being so over the top that I found it very difficult not to laugh as he does heinous things to his victims.
With so many things going against this film one would almost think that this film is a total lose. Fortunately there are a few areas where this film holds up really well and dare I say it excels. Like its atmospheric cinematography and it gruesome kill sequences that should satisfy even the most blood thirsty gore hounds. This film’s most memorable moment being the scene where the killer arrive at young woman’s home as she is waiting for her fiancé to arrive. The fluid camera work during this sequence is first rate. Not to be overlooked is this film first rate score that does a remarkable job setting the mood and reinforcing this film’s aforementioned visuals.
When all is said and done, despite its short comings what ultimately keeps this film from being a fun ride through the deranged mind of an eccentric psychopath. Is this film’s overwhelming air of familiarity to things that have appeared in countless other films.
Arrow Video presents Crawl in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s intended 2.35:1 ‘scope’ aspect ratio. The image looks crisp, colors look accurate, black levels look very good and there are no problems with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English. Dialog always comes through clearly and the film’s soundtrack sounds appropriately robust. Also the film does a good job with the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (2 minutes 7 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), interviews with the cast (4 minutes 35 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), Frightfest interview with the China Brothers and Alan Jones (12 minutes 20 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and an audio commentary with the China Brothers and Alan Jones. This release comes with a wide range of extra content that is headline by a solid audio commentary track that explores every facet of this film production. Rounding out the extras are trailers for other titles also available from Arrow Video. Overall Crawl gets a strong DVD release from Arrow Video.
Note: This film is also being released by Arrow Video on BluRay.