Rating: Not Rated
Stars: Mike Angelo, Chanya McClory, Benjamin Joseph Varney, Kulteera Yordchang
Writers: Charoen Kathitisuwan & Pakphum Wongjinda & Chalit Krileadmongkon
Directors: Pakphum Wongjinda & Chalit Krileadmongkon
Distributor: Well Go USA Entertainment
Release Date: October 3, 2023 (digital, home video)
Fun fact: Southeast Asia has some of the largest venomous centipedes on the planet. These hundred-legged, segmented critters can grow to be more than half a foot long.
But that’s just the jumping-off point for directors Pakphum Wongjinda & Chalit Krileadmongkon, who co-wrote the screenplay for CREEPY CRAWLY (aka THE ONE HUNDRED) with Charoen Kathitisuwan. They delve back into mythology regarding the malicious god Tabonglung, a huge centipede who possesses human bodies.
After a prologue, which sees young vlogger Kat out in the forest, we’re in a big city in Thailand. It’s March 2020, and the country is under COVID lockdown. A whole bus full of citizens is dropped off at the Srichanpen Hotel for a two-week quarantine stay.
Unbeknownst to the guests, they’re not going to have to worry about being bored for those fourteen days, because CREEPY CRAWLY takes place mostly in the first twenty-four hours.
Our main characters stepping off the bus are Tevika “Fame” Marley (Chanya McClory), a young woman who, with her brother Fiew, has been commissioned to do an exposé on the hotel. It seems the Srichanpen already has a bad reputation. Another youthful brother/sister pair are Leo (Mike Angelo) and Lena, who are traveling with their father, although Leo resents the older man immensely.
Hotel proprietor Prawit is officious, obsequious, and a sleazebag. He barely pays attention to new hotel employee Kat. But Kat has brought something back with her from her camping trip, which is eager to explore its options.
Centipedes are inherently unnerving to most people, given their shape, movement, and toxicity. Since centipedes in this story appear to be Tabonglung’s heralds, the filmmakers put them virtually everywhere in CREEPY CRAWLY. This creates a sense of atmospheric unease, as does the design of the hotel. The design for Tabonglung himself is suitably horrific, paying homage to Rob Bottin’s creations for THE THING.
COVID is as good a reason as any to keep people stuck in one place. Arguably, there could have been more use made of protective masks. However, the filmmakers understandably want us to see the actors’ faces, so the characters one by one ditch their coverings as the action proceeds.
Much mileage is achieved by keeping us guessing as to who is possessed, and the actual scares work well. What’s perhaps most surprising, though, is that CREEPY CRAWLY goes for genuine emotion, with successful family drama and a sense of real grief interspersed among the squiggly creature thrills.
The actors are fine across the board, with Angelo nimbly negotiating a role that requires swift transitions (his character has a neurochemical imbalance that causes him to launch into sudden rages).
Although we are left with a few questions, CREEPY CRAWLY is mostly satisfying monster horror. In Thai and sign language, with English subtitles.
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Movie Review: CREEPY CRAWLY (aka THE ONE HUNDRED)