Review: CRYPSIS (2019)

crypsis Poster

According to Wikipedia crypsis is the ability of an animal to avoid observation or detection by other animals. It may be a predation strategy or an antipredator adaptation. Methods include camouflage, nocturnality, subterranean lifestyle, and mimicry.

In other words, it’s a fancy term for anything that makes an animal hard to see. Which makes it an odd title for the first feature from writer/director/actor Paul Anthony Rogers. Because we get to see a fair amount of Crypsis monster, and for once it’s not a letdown.

A group of friends places a bet on who can last the longest camping on a local island. The guy taking them out convinces them to prove that they’re real men by leaving their cell phones with him. Which they do, and that tells you all you need to know about this group’s IQ. Let’s go wander around an uninhabited island with no way to call for help.

And they’re going to need help because the island isn’t entirely uninhabited. There’s a creature living on it. One that does a great job of avoiding being seen.

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If it seems like I’ve given the plot short shrift it’s because that’s basically it. A bunch of annoying bro types go to an island and get eaten. There is a twist that comes out of nowhere in the last few minutes but it adds nothing to the proceedings overall. It’s out of place here, and even when it fits a plot, it’s overdone and not effective. Coincidentally, there’s another current release, Rootwood, that uses almost the exact same twist too.

This could still have worked if Crypsis had built up the suspense and made the most of its monster. And it is a well-done creature. It looks somewhat like Gollum’s head on one of the creatures from The Descent. Only with lots of sharp teeth. It’s a guy in a suit, not CGI which is also a bonus. But the attacks tend to be bloodless and the kills mostly off-screen.

What we do get is scene after scene of these idiots arguing and yelling at each other. Crypsis runs 80 minutes, the constant arguing made it seem twice as long. Even after they figure out the creature has poor eyesight and hunts mostly by sound. They literally can’t stop yelling at each other even when their lives depend on it. Maybe the creature is doing us a favor by cleaning up the gene pool.

Uncork’d Entertainment will release Crypsis on December 17th. It’s already in UK release from Evolutionary Films. You can check out the film’s Facebook page for more details.

Jim Morazzini

Movie buff, gym rat and crazy cat guy

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