Saturday, August 30, 2014

#1,475. Crawl or Die (2014)

Directed By: Oklahoma Ward

Starring: Nicole Alonso, Torey Byrne, Tommy Ball

Tag Line: "The only thing more terrifying than being trapped is being hunted"

Trivia: In Japan, this film was released as Alien Crawl

Many movies claim to feature “wall-to-wall action”, but few live up to that promise. 2014’s Crawl or Die, an independent horror film directed by Oklahoma Ward, is a rare exception, a picture that grabs you by the throat in its opening scene and never, ever loosens its grip.

Crawl or Die is set in the not-too-distant future, when earth has been decimated by a crippling virus. Things have gotten so bad, in fact, that mankind has been forced to settle on another planet, aptly named “Earth Two”. 

To protect the world’s last fertile woman (Torey Byrne) as she journeys to Earth Two, an elite task force, including Tank (Nicole Alonso), Snoop (Wil Crown), and Mic (Tom Chamberlain), has been assembled. Their mission: to deliver the “package” at any cost. 

But the minute this band of warriors sets foot on Earth Two, they find themselves facing off against a deadly foe, a seemingly unstoppable alien creature with an appetite for human flesh. To escape this beast, the group makes its way underground, into an elaborate tunnel system. With no idea where they are going, and a monster hot on their trail, the task force pushes forward, knowing full well the next turn they take could be their last.

Aside from a brief bit of exposition, a flashback in which a General (David Zeliff) lays out the mission for Tank and the others, Crawl or Die never stops to take a breath. Kicking things off with a gunfight on Earth Two, the action then moves underground, where our heroes do everything they can to dodge a creature hellbent on destroying them. Shot with a hand-held camera and featuring rapid-style editing, these opening moments are jarring, made doubly so by the fact we the audience have no idea what’s going on (the exposition flashback mentioned above comes later in the movie). 

But the action is intense enough to keep our attention early on, and that intensity escalates as, one by one, characters fall by the wayside, victims of a monster that is relentless in its pursuit. In one of the film’s most nerve-racking sequences, a few members of the task force, hoping to get the jump on the creature, lay in wait for it at the end of a tunnel, only to fall asleep before it comes into view. As the weary warriors catch some much-needed rest, we spot the alien slowly crawling towards them, and hope it'll make a noise that will somehow awaken our heroes. It runs for only a minute or two, yet the tension in this scene is nearly unbearable.

With impressive creature effects (the monster bears a striking resemblance to the Xenomorph of the Alien franchise, which, coincidental or not, makes it all the more frightening), a solid cast (headed by Nicole Alonso, who is pitch-perfect as the lead bad-ass), and non-stop thrills, Crawl or Die pulls you in, shakes you up, and never gives you a chance to catch your breath.

This movie is fun with a capital “F”!


Unknown said...

Thank you SO much for this awesome review! Really appreciate your support and your kind words about the movie! You're the best, Dave! :)

Crash Palace said...

Such a tremendous movie! The best horror sci-fi from 2014. Excellent review, Dave!

Jake Moore AKA: @RiverCityOtter said...

I'm also a huge "Crawl Or Die" fan #NicoleAlonso is a hell of a treat as the main lead named #Tank! The overwhelming claustrophobia you feel when watching this Indie film gem is so real! #OklahomaWard wrote & directed these tight intense thrill ride of a film!