Distributor: Backyard Films/LLC
Director: Oklahoma Ward
Starring: Nicole Alonso, Torey Byrne, Tommy Ball, Wil Crown, David Wilde
Crawl or Die is an independent horror/sci-fi film released last year. It blends some nice alien bits with strong psychological parts to round out the “horror” elements of the film. For what looks like an apparent lower budget this film does more than some of it’s recent higher dollar counterparts, and was written and directed by Oklahoma Ward and stars Nicole Alonso, Torey Byrne, Tommy Ball and Wil Crown. With the large studios seemingly unable to get it together when it comes to horror, independent horror films look to be the future of the genre. Sure, films like Sinister 2 are made at a larger studio but it seems that what is left is being funnelled into remakes, reboots,re-imagined or whatever we are calling the recent output of stuff from Hollywood. Independents cover the wide range from the very-well-done likes of The Battery to the please-make-it-stop of Area 51, so where does Crawl or Die fit on the spectrum?
I was really pleasantly surprised by this film. Coming off a couple of Jason Blum movies that left me with a bad taste in my mouth (and I rather like his stuff but I guess everyone has an off day or two in the movie business) I hit play and hoped for the best. I will admit the opening scene did have me concerned for the lighting of the film as it was dark and hard to see what was going on, and all I could think was “Shit! These people have watched too many crappy found footage films and somehow like the way they are lit”. This was fleeting and once the film got rolling Ward did an excellent job of maintaining the appearance of darkness but letting the audience see what was happening.The whole idea of this film is that our intrepid cast members are being chased by an alien through an underground network of increasingly smaller tunnels. Once the cast hit the underground and the first tunnel appears the mood is built well and the lighting remains top notch. For the next 90 minutes or so Tank (Nicole Alonso) leads us through tunnel after tunnel trying to keep herself and the rest of the crew safe and one step ahead of the aliens. Alanso gives us a well focused portrayal of Tank and really lets the audience experience the emotions of this race to safety.
This movie is independent without looking independent. Compare it the to The Vatican Exorcisms, an independent movie that starts out with some promise but the then plot falls apart and the filming gets worse. Crawl or Die gets your attention from the start and keeps it throughout the movie, has a coherent plot and sees none of the characters come off the rails. This is what an independent horror movie should be and I would stack this against many of the bigger budget horror movies of late. There is also talk of a sequel so let’s hope this happens, as Crawl or Die definitely has something solid to build on.
Release Date: 12th August 2014