I hate to say it, but I’ve come to expect the worst when watching independent horror films. I usually can’t get past the low-budget cameras, the sub-par acting, and everything else you find in your average indie project. There are, however, some very impressive hidden gems out there in the scene, looking to be discovered. One of these gems is the anthology film, Creeping Crawling, written and directed by Jon Russell Cring and Tracy Nichole Cring.
A pair of students are writing a paper for their entomology class. They meet up with a quirky professor who shares with them three chilling tales, all involving some nasty bugs in one way or another. Entitled GRUBBERY, RID, and BUGGER, the three stories are all very different from each other and highly original in content. Instead of getting another killer bug flick like we’ve seen in the past (i.e. Ticks or The Nest), we get stories that use insects as their basis, but really up the ante when it comes to what these little critters have to do with the tales.
Within the first few seconds of watching Creeping Crawling, I knew that this film was already a step above most indie flicks. The camera work and cinematography was on point and of way better quality than I expected. The acting seemed to be pretty good, but it actually got much better as the film progressed. The effects and make-up were also very good, further aiding in making this stand out from other indie flicks of this genre.
It is always interesting to see how filmmakers plan on tying their segments together, when creating an anthology film. Some just throw each story together, back to back, like chapters, while others have a fourth, additional story, holding everything together like glue. In Creeping Crawling, Dr. Tarkovsky is that glue, acting as a Crypt Keeper-type character, telling the two students of these gross narratives.
Like I’ve already mentioned, any time you hear of insects being the centerpiece of a horror flick, you naturally expect some type of swarming takeover. Instead, what we get here is highly original content that I never could have imagined. I loved the creativity of each short and while I didn’t enjoy each one equally, I still commend the directing/writing team of Jon and Tracy Cring for their imagination and execution. They had me watching a girl pull an extremely long tapeworm out of her anus, a girl fall in love with a comatose patient, and a man grow up to be sexually aroused by invertebrates! On top of all of that, Raine Brown is hilarious as Janice in BUGGER, and the end of that same segment and the entire film itself is totally unexpected and downright awesome.
If you’re a fan of horror anthology films and support independent filmmakers, check out Creeping Crawling. You can add a copy to your collection by purchasing it on DVD from Brain Damage Films’ official webstore.
I give this film 3.5 cockroaches out of 5.