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DVD Review: Crawlspace

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Very exciting review today, folks, as our friends out at IFC Midnight sent over a copy of their new “Crawlspace”, with no less than Justin Dix handling direction. It will be hitting several video on demand systems, including PlayStation Unlimited, iTunes, and Xbox Zune, as well as several theaters this Friday, but will it be worth the run?

“Crawlspace” takes us out to Pine Gap, a little-known military base out in the wilds of Australia that is a co-production with the United States government going all the way back to 1966. The base, however, just went dark and, with no contact, those sufficiently high up to make such decisions decide they’re going to send in the troops to figure out just what went wrong and pull out any surviving scientists, because after all, scientists aren’t cheap. What the team finds when they get in is going to be a whole lot more than they bargained for, and getting out in one piece isn’t going to be an easy task.

Dix has actually worked previously in special effects, working with major names like Roger Donaldson and even George Lucas. That’s a pretty potent pedigree, but going from effects work to direction would seem to be about as compatible as a software vendor insisting he knows how to perform a heart transplant. Thankfully, it seems to have translated here nicely, as not only do we get a slice of sweet science fiction that’s very much in the Aliens style, but we also get a set and character design that’s almost delightfully authentic. Better yet, while it seems a bit familiar at times–it’s an interesting mix of “Cube”, “Aliens” and “Scanners” in here, a combination I never thought I’d see–it’s also extremely well executed. This is scary stuff, laden with twists and some really impressive scripting.

As for extra features, well, this disc didn’t actually have any. If there is a retail release of this one–and there’s likely to be given that it’s an IFC release–there will be plenty added later. But right now we are very much tip of the spear on this one, so bonus features will likely come later.

So while “Crawlspace” may be short on bonus items, at least in its current iteration, it will not be short on quality. There’s plenty to keep the interest of most anyone here, and for those who have seen and lamented the noticeable lack of science fiction in the field these days, be of good cheer, as there will be a great new piece of work in the field thanks to “Crawlspace”.

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