• Film reviews

    #588 – Crawler (2009)

    Crawler (2009)

    Film review #588

    Director: Sv Bell

    SYNOPSIS: A construction site hires a bulldozer, but due to a mishap, they get sent the wrong one. When strange things start happening on site and people start disappearing, it seems that, somehow, this bulldozer is at the centre of it all…

    THOUGHTS/ANALYSIS: Crawler is a 2009 sci-fi horror film all about a killer bulldozer. The whole concept might sound absurd, or it actually might sound familiar, as the 1974 TV movie Killdozer centred around the same concept of a killer piece of construction machinery. This time, a bulldozer is hired for a construction site, but because the driver was late picking it up, it went to someone else. Desperate, the guy tries to convince the guy to rent him another one which is apparently not available for rent. The next day, the bulldozer shows up at the construction site, with the driver nowhere in sight. When a number of strange happenings occur at the site, the workers suspect, however implausibly, that the bulldozer is somehow involved. The plot works it’s way up very slowly, comprising early on of scenes of dialogue between characters that fail to ingratiate themselves to viewers or stand out in any real way. It is worth remembering that the whole thing is a little tongue-in-cheek and knows it has limits, but it nevertheless plays it straight throughout. The concept of the killer dozer is unique enough (save for the aforementioned TV movie), and the film does eventually develop along lines you might not expect, but there’s nothing too memorable about the story.

    The strengths of the film are in the practical effects: the alien elements are fairly detailed, and the gore is pretty convincing, although it often looks like unrecognisable mush. The weaknesses of the film stretch from the monotone delivery of the lines from the acting, to the poor lighting and editing of action scenes which is composed of random short cuts that fade in and out, and disrupt any sense of flow. The bad certainly outweighs the good, and overall Crawler, while having a few good points, has little going for it either in being so-bad-its-good, or actually creating a a decent horror story. A severe lack of tension and urgency, both due to the sluggish pace of the film and the flat delivery of the actors, make it a dull and uninspiring experience.