JANUARY 22, 2011
The only bit of trivia on the IMDb for Crush is that it's considered an "Ozploitation" movie, which is not only terrible trivia but it also seems to be fairly incorrect, as there's nothing particularly Australian about the film, nor is it exploitative in any way - the sex scenes are fairly tame, and there's only one kill in the entire film and it's something akin to a CSI death. And no didgeridoo.
It's also not particularly good, coming off like a lame TV movie thriller than anything else. It's basically like Fatal Attraction (or more fittingly, Swimfan), with Julian, our "hero", cheating on his girlfriend in record time, and then regretting it when the girl turns out to be psycho. What makes it different and thus less possibly worthy of a copyright claim is that the girl is actually a ghost! Points for originality I guess, but the problem is that she's a really terrible poltergeist - her big move is to make a toilet overflow, which freaks out Julian's girlfriend. Later, the ghostess uses her powers to send an email to the girlfriend, confessing the affair. Ooooh.
There are two twists, one of which I called from the start. When the family that owns the house (Julian is house-sitting) is leaving, the father mentions that their niece might stop by to use the pool, but doesn't give him the girl's name when asked (they're driving away and presumably didn't hear him). Right away I was tipped off - there's no reason for this sort of exchange unless the girl he meets isn't the niece. And then my suspicion was confirmed when the girl appeared, and Julian began the conversation by saying "Are you the niece?" - no she damn well is not.
So about 50 minutes in we find out (spoiler) that she's not the niece, but a drug addict who broke into the home looking to rob the place and ended up falling down the stairs and dying. And this was OK, it took a bit too long to get to since it was obvious she wasn't the niece from the start, but whatever. But then, if I'm understanding correctly, we also learn that pretty much every scene with her thus far has been a dream? That's the sort of shit that doesn't fly with me. Plus it reeks of something that was made up on the spot instead of something that was an idea right from the start - this dude has pretty boring dreams. It's also a bit too deus ex machina-y, as it's just a lazy way to cover up all of the red herrings, such as the fact that there was a photo of her on the mantle (dream!).
The only saving grace of the "dream" reveal is that there was nothing particularly exciting or intriguing up until that point anyway, so it's not like they wrote off some amazing scare scenes or fascinating plot points by doing it. A bunch of boring stuff was a dream, fine. However, the rest of the movie isn't much better - they have a little run around the house yelling and smacking each other around sequence, and finally his friends and girlfriend show up, but her supernatural powers are preventing them from getting inside. And then Julian falls down the stairs (JUST LIKE SHE DID!) and dies. The end.
So basically, dream or not, nothing happens in this movie. I mean, why have the two annoying male friend characters at all if not for fodder? Why not allow the two women to have a real face off? A guy dreams about cheating on his girlfriend, which brings a ghost into the real world, and she kills him. That's every plot point. The characters aren't particularly likable or sympathetic, the suspense is nil, and since 90% of the movie takes place inside the (admittedly gorgeous) house, it's not even a visual treat, which is odd for an Australian film. There's a subplot about him having both a Tae Kwon Do match AND a big architecture assignment, both of which he blows due to his "affair", but it's hardly compelling, and the former just seems to be there in order to provide the film with a logical reason to keep Christopher Egan shirtless as much as possible (practicing and such), as well as pack the film with rock songs for training/fighting scenes, including TWO uses of Papa Roach's "Last Resort", which is about three too many for a film made in 2009 (though I enjoyed hearing Something For Kate pop up - good band).
Papa Roach isn't the only thing that gets overused - footage that we just saw has a nasty habit of resurfacing over and over, as if we needed constant reminders of what passed for a plot point. Nothing is too minute for us to learn twice - the way the security system worked, the various conversations that he and the ghost girl had, etc. It's only 80 minutes long as is, but I'm guessing if you strip away credits and the Saw-wannabe flashbacks, it would be more like 65.
I'm just sort of confused who this movie was made for. The dude is topless way more than the girl, but I can't see females really finding much enjoyment in a movie where the guy is kind of a jerk but the female is the villain. It's too tame/teen-y for adults to find much use for it, yet the R rating would keep the younger crowds from accessing it (theoretically). What's the opposite of having your cake and eating it too? That's what Crush is.
What say you?