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The Crypt - horror DVD review
THE CRYPT Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 stars
Actors: Sarah Oh, Cristen Irene, Joanna Ke, Michael Ranallo, Delaina Stevens
Directors: Craig McMahon   Studio: Triumphant Entertainment
DVD release: 11 August 2009   Runtime: 106 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD, NTSC, Widescreen
DVD features: Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English), Audio commentary w/ dir. Craig McMahon, Interviews, Deleted scenes

The horror genre has made some huge leaps over the past decade or two in levels of fear factor and hideousness. The Ring is a fairly identifiable film that jumps quickly to mind and is easily comparable to The Crypt in several ways. The first is in the type of antagonist dispatching the unlucky souls "it" encounters. The second is the visual effects that take an already hideously nightmarish character and transform it into something heart attack-inducing. The third, and not final, comparison is the traditional survivor storyline, in which this character is the only one capable of figuring out what "it" wants and doing what is necessary to stay alive.

The Crypt is nauseatingly scary from the start. Viewers are given an unpleasant introduction to the bone-shattering and brain-squeezing wraithlike populace of the hidden catacombs below a major city. These catacombs are the burial chambers of some of the city's wealthiest from the era of the Great Depression. Forever entombed with the remains of their loved ones, they took their most costly and valuable jewels to the grave, too. A curse rests upon them all now - and death to any that try to steal from them.

Six young criminals with no moral fiber make a pact to raid and pilfer the hidden catacombs for the prospective treasure and payoff. It doesn't take long for the horrors to begin, and for the gore to escalate with every turn of the catacomb's tunnels. Thrills and nail-biting anticipation hurtle along nonstop with the revolting deaths and disappearances of each of the thieves. The continual flickering appearances of the petrifying wraiths in the shadows within murdering reach of the criminals is enough to give a normal person nightmares for a month.

Per the usual horror film routine, the number of surviving protagonists dwindles over the duration of the film. If any of them escape the horrors of the hidden catacombs, will they really be home-free? These bloodcurdling wraiths are so demonic and ferocious that the confines of the crumbling catacombs hardly seem enough to keep them in when the curse still needs to be fulfilled.

The Crypt is definitely a B-level movie, but it delivers in its genre. The best things going for the film are the special effects and the phenomenal thrill factor no good horror film is without. The storyline is workable, although the appallingly poor acting does little to recommend the positive aspects of the film. The array of disturbing, demonic visuals in the film is its most frightening aspect. With the silent nature of each of the demonic sightings and the murders, the nightmare factor produced by the visual horrors is greater than in most other films.

This is a movie best left to those who really enjoy horror flicks and are of an age to handle the nightmarish quality. Recommendations are mixed due to the sadly obvious B-level quality, but for viewers willing to overlook the flaws, this is a genre thriller worth watching for spine-chilling horror.
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reviewed by Sonia R. Polinsky
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