THEY CRAWL BENEATH Movie Poster | ©2022 WellGoUSA

THEY CRAWL BENEATH Movie Poster | ©2022 WellGoUSA

Rating: Not Rated
Stars: Joseph Almani, Karlee Eldridge, Michael Paré, Elena Sahagun, Gar-Ye Lee, Christopher Dukes
Writer: Tricia Aurand
Director: Dale Fabrigar
Distributor: Well Go USA
Release Date: October 4, 2022 (digital and home video)

Director Dale Fabrigar, writer Tricia Aurand, and actor Joseph Almani take a bold swing with THEY CRAWL BENEATH. Not too many horror movies can pull off what’s mostly a one-man, one-set show.

While there are a few other locations and some supporting cast members, THEY CRAWL BENEATH takes place mostly in the garage of an isolated residence in Barstow, California. Almani’s character, police officer Danny Moritz, spends the bulk of the movie trapped here, fighting off giant mutant worms and venom-induced hallucinations.

Danny actually has a nightmare premonition of the creatures, though this doesn’t seem to impact the plot much. He’s on the outs with his girlfriend, Gwen (Karlee Eldridge), who wants Danny to quit the police force after a dangerous incident.

Gwen also doesn’t get along with Danny’s Uncle Bill (Michael Paré), who lives out in the middle of nowhere. It’s a bad place to be stuck when severe earthquakes rock the terrain. The quakes create fissures in the ground, from which you-know-what emerge and then grow.

The creature effects from Dan Rebert Creations are impressive, if reminiscent of similar critters from the TREMORS movies. We also get a cool credits sequence full of nematodes and aggressive microscopic life forms.

So, THEY CRAWL BENEATH half-works. Fabrigar and Almani pull off the claustrophobia and desperation of the cramped environment. The monsters are sufficiently ugly and persistent.

However, because there’s only so much mutant nematode combat that can be staged in this setting with one character, and because it seems like there wasn’t the budget to do much action elsewhere, the filmmakers have to pad the plot.

This is done with family and romantic melodrama, mostly conducted over the phone, that doesn’t play out very well. We hear about, but don’t experience much of, Bill’s abrasive, irresponsible personality. The conflict between Danny and Gwen is pretty standard, and we don’t have enough information to really root for either one of them.

Still, what is achieved with apparently minimal resources in THEY CRAWL BENEATH is admirable. For those jonesing for Graboids in a tight space, it may be just the thing.

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Article: Movie Review:  THEY CRAWL BENEATH

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