[FrightFest 2021 Review] CRABS!

[FrightFest 2021 Review] CRABS!
Still Courtesy of FrightFest
Is there any creature or animal that hasn’t been the main feature for a ridiculously over-the-top and usually dumb ‘horror’ movie? Bats, sharks, spiders, bees, mantis, mosquitoes, ants, and many many more. Now it was the turn of crabs (or should that be CRABS!).

Well, it’s safe to say that from its promotion and opening scene, you at least go into crabs knowing exactly what you’re going to get. The opening does have a playful comedic twist but features strange-looking crab-like creatures, nudity, and lots of blood, almost entirely in questionable CGI. If you’ll enjoy the movie or not, your decision will be made now by either continuing to watch or pressing stop right there.

I guess if you’re still reading, you’re at least intrigued enough by CRABS! That you’ll probably gonna give it a go. So, let’s go through the stuff you are expecting from this movie, that SyFy monster movie stuff.

The crabs themselves don’t actually look a whole lot like crabs. Not the crabs I’ve seen anyway. It is explained that they are these ancient crabs that we see little of now and they have an alien Xenomorph familiarity to them which isn’t a bad thing, especially when we encounter some giant crabs. As the movie goes on, the monsters get bigger and bigger to the point that it becomes a giant monster movie in the style of Godzilla Vs. King Kong, but with a much smaller budget. A better comparison might be the old Power Rangers show as the enemies are just people in ridiculous costumes. And that’s not a complaint from me. I’d watch that kind of action all day!

There’s actually quite a bit of blood and gore too. It’s far from graphic but we often see red liquid fly across the screen, especially in one particular prom scene.

Still Courtesy of FrightFest

You might expect the acting to be not so great but there are some good performances mixed in with the not-so-good. Bryce Durfee was a highlight for me as the older brother of one of the lead characters. Likable in a role that could have been otherwise and, despite his relative inexperience, he came across as natural and confident. The dialogue isn’t great. At one point, a character says they need to call the army?! How exactly do you do that? What number do you ring? But as with this sort of movie, cheesiness is expected, that’s fine. The forced humour is painful at times, though. The comedy mostly works except for one character. Unfortunately, that character is in the movie lot and it’s a complete misfire for me. Radu is the friend to the main characters and I can’t blame the actor because this is clearly how the director wanted the character to come across, but he is just annoying throughout with unfunny lines. It doesn’t spoil the movie completely but it really tries!

The lead character (not the actor) is a wheelchair user, which is refreshing and part of the story. It’s not the worst portrayal of a character with a disability but it’s not without issues. I do believe it was written with the best of intentions though.

All that said, CRABS! isn’t the best giant monster movie you’ll see this year but it has its place at FrightFest. And, if you like this type of film, it’s worth checking out!

Alain Elliott
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