Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Sarah Oh, Michael Ranallo, Cristen Irene, Abra May
Directed by Craig McMahon
Distributed by Triumphant Entertainment
When the trailer for Craig McMahon’s indie effort The Crypt first dropped, we were all pretty impressed. Every now and again a new director will burst upon the scene with a breakthrough film that looks to turn up the heat horror-wise. The Crypt seemed to be just such a flick, but in the end even though the intentions and heart behind the movie were in the right place, the experience ended up falling short of its intended mark.
We’re introduced to six young criminals early on in the flick who come across the perfect heist. Rob a crypt filled with riches such as jewelry and money from folks who had it buried with them during the Great Depression and flip the deceaseds’ belongings for a shit-ton of cash. What could go wrong? The dead can’t fight back. Or can they? Unfortunately for our band of thieves they not only fight back, but they do so with a special kind of bloodthirsty reckless abandon.
The Crypt starts off with a lot of promise with a cool little gore gag designed to whet your appetite for the horrors that come. Yet, none of the other kills live up to the horror of the first. I really have got to give it to the cast though. They went for it. Scratch that — they really went for it. These folks went through the ringer on what had to be one hell of a difficult shoot, and they should be commended for their efforts.
Craig McMahon himself does a great job of laying on the atmosphere, but I think in the end he just pulled himself too thin. McMahon wrote, directed, produced, edited, and scored the film. That’s a lot of hats to wear at once, and the movie suffers as a result. At a scant eighty-two minutes the editing causes major pacing issues. Toward the end especially a few scenes go on for way too long, while others don’t seem to really fit together. Combine that with some at times painfully thin dialogue, and you get yourself a heaping serving of muddled soup.
Nonetheless, it’s not all bad. McMahon displays a real eye for the camera, and the scenes that he does manage to get to work show a lot of promise for this young director. If this guy ever gets his hands on a good script and a budget (and better actors), we could be in for a real treat.
In terms of supplemental material we get the usual. Commentary, interviews, deleted scenes, etc. If you didn’t dig the movie, you’re not likely to spend any time with any of these, though I do recommend the commentary. This dude has tales to tell. Good stuff.
In the end we’re left with a mostly uneven experience that offers up a few flashes of brilliance here and there. There’s not much to see, and the film is ultimately forgettable, but I stand by my assessment that McMahon really could end up being one to watch!
2 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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