Crush was surprising in the fact that it didn’t completely stink especially compared with many other direct-to-video flicks that have come before. The plot is a slow in developing but with some decent charisma from Lucas Till, Crystal Reed and Sarah Bolger, it at least kept my attention for the duration.
Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Mystery
Millennium Entertainment | PG13 – 94 min. – $29.99 | April 9, 2013
Directed by: Malik Bader
Writer(s): Sonny Mallhi (written by)
Cast: Lucas Till, Crystal Reed, Sara Bolger, Caitriona Balfe, Reid Ewing, Leigh Whannell
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Disc Size: 21.4 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
Immediately when looking at the synopsis for the ‘tween thriller Crush, I was transported to the mid 1990s where I had read R.L. Stine’s “Fear Street” series of novels which were directed by young teens but had plots that, for the most part, were highly predictable especially since there were few suspects and the story themselves were pretty much knockoffs of movies (i.e. “The Babysitter” and When a Stranger Calls for instance). Not to say this movie knocks off an R.L. Stine book but it had that feel to it especially when I started to watch…
The plot centers on high school soccer stud Scott Norris (LUCAS TILL) who is trying to get to college on a soccer scholarship. Meanwhile, we also get a glimpse at his secret admirer, a shy girl named Bess (CRYSTAL REED) who follows him on social media and watches his games from underneath the bleachers and sits at the back of the classroom eying him there as well. After a big win, on a last second score of course, Scott blows out his knee requiring surgery when we then fast forward six months to find him attempting to rehab by doing a daily run which just so happens to go right by Bess’ home as well as a couple other female suitors… either this is a big coincidence or this is one small-ass town.
In any case, the film takes more of a focus on Bess as she continues to obsess on her crush with Scott seemingly thinking about him everywhere including at the record/comic book shop where she works. She does take advice from co-worker, Andie (CAITRIONA BAFFE), who had her own share of crushes in the past. We find later that the shop owner (LEIGH WHANNELL) has his own crush on Andie. Bess has an obsessive person of her own crushing on her in the form of a true weirdo named Jeffrey (REID EWING).
Early on we also meet Scott’s best friend, Jules (SARAH BOLGER) who wants to take their friendship to the next level but with his knee on the mend, Scott feels he needs to focus on soccer in order to get the college scholarship, despite the fact Jules flung herself on Scott and the two made out for some necessary PG-13 sensuality to keep its audience alert. Oh, and she even sends him a topless shot, that certainly won’t come back to bite her in the ass.
So, what do all of these characters have to do with this movie? They’re all suspects who, as the story keeps unfolding, continue to stalk and torment Scott and/or his friends, each time getting more and more aggressive including murder! It does get somewhat tedious at times and with the filmmakers’ clearly wanting to disguise who the killer is, via close-ups or murky/shadowy shots, they also tended to eliminate certain suspects early on.
First things first, Crush is basically a C-level thriller aimed squarely at the pre-teen/early-teen demo, perhaps the same viewers who watch “Pretty Little Liars” (albeit that show is great for those older, however) as it doesn’t really bend the rules or stray too far from the suspense/thriller genre.
Acting wise, this young cast could be on the rise if their cards fall right. You’ve got lead actor Lucas Till who has the looks of a young Matt Damon with the voice of Chris Hemsworth going for him; Crystal Reed is quite good in the stalker role yet keeps a certain cuteness that allows audiences to care about her; and Sarah Bolger as the best friend provides some good drama later in the film. There’s also a small role for Leigh Whannell who you might remember in the original Saw movie (the guy chained in the bathroom opposite Cary Elwes).
Directed by Malik Bader (Street Thief) and written by Sonny Mallhi who penned a similar female-driven psychopath movie with the lame The Roommate ‘tween thriller Crush is a typical time-waster. There’s at least enough mystery to keep one’s attention and clocking in at under 90-minutes sans credits, it’s enjoyable if not on the forgettable side. This is at best a one-viewing rental.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
The only feature on here is a Making of Crush (21:10; HD) featurette which is fairly extensive with some fly-on-the-wall footage to go along with cast and crew interviews.
Previews – Straight A’s, Spiders, So Undercover, The Paperboy
VIDEO – 3.75/5
Millennium Entertainment releases Crush on Blu-ray presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture isn’t the prettiest or anything but it’s at least decent given the low budget nature. Like most movies in that realm, the film looks quite clear and free of flaws but at times also gives some of the figures an almost waxy feel. Still, the detail levels aren’t bad and for any fans of the movie, it should be acceptable for the home theater.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The disc includes a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track and really shows off throughout from the teen-centric soundtrack which blares at numerous times to the scare notes by composer Julian Boyd. This lossless track is effective and, once again given the budget, quite impressive.
OVERALL – 2.75/5
Overall, Crush was surprising in the fact that it didn’t completely stink especially compared with many other direct-to-video flicks that have come before. The plot is a slow in developing but with some decent charisma from Lucas Till, Crystal Reed and Sarah Bolger, it at least kept my attention for the duration. On the negative side – and it is a major one – for whatever insane reason, the filmmakers (or somebody) decided to reveal a big spoiler in a prominent place, so one has to wonder what they were thinking… Anyway, the Blu-ray does have good video and audio transfers while the singular feature was interesting, but nothing profound.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.