Plot: What’s it about?
I have said it before, but one of the perks of reviewing for this site is that you come across titles you wouldn’t ordinarily know about. I may or may not have heard of They Crawl Beneath had I not been a reviewer, so when the opportunity arose, I took it. I can be more skeptical these days as interests change and having the time is more limited. Still, at some 80 minutes and change, this one wasn’t going to put me out too much. I got the press materials, but it drew memories of Tremors (a film I have seen countless times, but not in recent years) which I enjoyed and wanted to see what It had to offer. While it doesn’t offer the interesting cast of characters that that film does, and its budget appears much lower, it still gets the job done. It isn’t some modern classic, but under the right circumstances it can provide a decent enough time.
We meet Danny (Joseph Almani) who lies with his uncle Bill (Michael Pare). The two plan to spend the Holiday weekend working on Bill’s vintage car. The film makes a point to let us know these characters and their histories. There is also Gwen (Karlee Eldridge) who had a relationship with Danny, and we see that there is a little bit of tension there. As they are working on the car, something emerges from the ground and puts Danny and his uncle in a dire situation. It is then on Danny to contact help and cut himself loose after the car has him pinned. We don’t get the clearest explanation for exactly what is going on or why, but the creatures at least look creepy enough and the film did keep me wondering just where things would do.
With a bigger budget, Crawl might’ve made more of an impact on me, but the small cast is decent enough and it passes the time ok. For a brief running time, there were some slow moments in the second half, but there’s just enough on display that you could do a lot worse. The attention to character development is also welcome. It’s nothing terribly deep, but it at least wants us to get to know the small group of characters we meet. It will be Tremors that I return to when I am need of a film like this, but this one gets enough right to earn a mild recommendation.
Video: How’s it look?
The AVC encoded image is solid. Only occasional moments of blemishing early on, but beyond that this one was pleasing to the eyes. The desert setting, we see some in the film also lends itself nicely to the HD format, never displaying flaws that come to mind. Considering that most of the film is reduced to a single setting, there was nothing problematic here.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD track is also satisfying. The creatures that pop up and the breaking of the ground all add to the experience. The ground literally shakes in the film and all this works to bring us into this environment nicely. Like the visuals, this track suits the film well.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Theatrical Trailer
The Bottom Line
Not what I would call essential viewing by any means, this still entertains for what it sets out to do. It will draw comparisons to Tremors but gives us just enough to justify its existence. It has nice character moments and enough thrills to warrant a rental under the right circumstances.