Creepy Crawly is very aptly titled. Horror movies about bugs and insects possess a special power. They can make viewers literally squirm in discomfort. Watching this Thai import, I kept getting the sensation that something was crawling up my arm. That’s precisely the effect it’s aiming for, so mission accomplished.
The story takes place in a hotel that rents rooms to people who need to quarantine during the Covid-19 lockdown. The pandemic is not the biggest threat to the guests, though. A centipede monster is loose inside. It can burrow into the bodies of humans, causing them to sprout extra appendages and bug-like facial features. That monster moves around from person to person, leaving a trail of dead bodies in its wake.
What Creepy Crawly does with its villain is quite impressive. Characters are impaled by one of its many limbs or have body parts chopped off by them. Another power it has is the ability to unleash tons of smaller centipedes upon the building. They cover the floor and walls, and one unlucky group gets trapped in an elevator that quickly fills up with them. The things the movie dreams up are deliriously gross.
Appropriately, that insect mayhem is delivered in a tongue-in-cheek way. Several characters are intentionally obnoxious, meaning we enjoy seeing them get what’s coming to them. The film doesn’t intend to make anyone sick, it just wants to provide the sort of over-the-top thrills that any good creature feature aims to deliver. You often laugh while simultaneously noticing that your skin is crawling.
Visual effects used to create the centipedes are excellent. It truly does look like the actors are being surrounded by them. Creepy Crawly fits nicely into the bug-horror subgenre. Sure, it’s lightweight in the story department, but the suitably icky feeling it generates is enough to guarantee that you’ll react physically.
Creepy Crawly debuts on digital, DVD, and Blu-ray October 3. To order a copy from Amazon, click here.
out of four
Creepy Crawly is unrated, but contains strong language and graphic bloody violence. The running time is 1 hour and 31 minutes.