Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Into the Dark: Crawlers (2020)

Streaming Services: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: Into the Dark: Crawlers (2020)
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Hulu, Blumhouse
Director: Brandon Zuck
Writer: Catherine Wignall, Mike Gan
Actors: Giorgia Whigham, Pepi Sonuga, Cameron Fuller, Olivia Liang, Jude Demorest, Zachary Roozen, Virginia Louise Smith, David Carzell, Tensaye Yosef

Blurb from IMDb: On Saint Patrick's day-a night of wild parties and drunken revelry-three unlikely friends band together to save a college town from a vicious horde of body-switching aliens.

Selina’s Point of View:
The story visited in Into the Dark: Crawlers had some potential, but I just don’t think it was executed all that well.

I don’t have a sweeping dislike of narration. When done well, it’s fine. It’s a quick and easy way to get some exposition without it feeling clunky and shoehorned into scenes. It’s not one of my favorite things, but it’s a valid choice for movie creators to utilize.

The problem is that this film went a little heavy-handed with the narration. When I believed the voice-over should be done, I was still subjected to about 15 more minutes of it. Then there were other short scenes of narration placed throughout the story as though it were being used as a framing device. If it was an anthology, that would have been fine – but it wasn’t. In the end, the narrator went on to describe some stuff I really didn’t care about, before it left off with an amusing little punchline.

If it would have just been about 5 minutes of narration in the beginning, then that cute last couple of lines at the end, it would have been much better for the movie. When you spread narration through the whole thing like that – you get way more tell than show. That’s not a good thing.

Otherwise, the film was decent. They took on some incredibly controversial topics and did it with honesty. It wasn’t always pretty, but I could relate. I also liked the way they handled the preternatural creatures that they used for the story. It wasn’t the same old thing.

I wouldn’t out-right warn people away from Into the Dark: Crawlers, but I’m not going to be going out of my way to recommend it, either.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’m loving Hulu’s Into the Dark series more and more with each film we watch.

There were so many things worth noting within this movie that I’m struggling a little to decide what to discuss first. When in doubt, roll dice!

I was a bit giddy to see that this film was set on St. Patrick’s Day. There really aren’t that many horror flicks outside of the Leprechaun (1993) franchise that utilize the holiday. It cleverly sets up the perfect backdrop for this story amidst a college party town. Drunken shenanigans everywhere can be the perfect smokescreen for much mischief. I also got a kick out of the concept of a ‘pub crawl’ playing off the film title and the premise of the movie’s antagonists.

This movie also gets two thumbs up from me for utilizing some fresh faces with the cast here. I was more invested in their performances and didn’t have that little voice in the back of my mind connecting dots as to where I’d seen them before. This movie is one of those you just turn off your brain for a little bit to enjoy, anyway. Though, admittedly, I did recognize Giorgia Whigham (The Punisher, The Orville, Sierra Burgess is a Loser), playing the story’s narrator.

I feel like everyone’s got to have that one friend or, an acquaintance, that’s a bit on the fringe and buys into conspiracies and whatnot. What if one of their most far-fetched ideas was actually true? That’s pretty much what the concept of this movie is, and it’s executed in an imaginative way.

In spite of the slightly wacky premise, the production was of a quality that it gave in-the-moment believability to the fresh look at what might be considered today’s take on pod-people. The concept that this was a ‘show within a show’ via the narrator’s video blog allowed for some really interesting moments that added value to the story, as well.

I also appreciated that this story highlighted a persistent problem that quite often has gotten swept under the proverbial rug in the past. Of course, I’m speaking on the topic of date rape culture – especially in the college crowd. I am loving that this film snuck that in there as a sticking point within the plot, and gave voice to the perspective of someone who had been preyed upon and their personal aftermath.

Into the Dark: Crawlers flew by and was over before I realized it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely encourage anyone looking for a fresh take on an old trope to give it a shot. This would be a great flick for anyone finding themselves stuck at home on a St Paddy’s Day, as well!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.6/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3.5/5

P.S.: Bloopers during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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