Craig (2008) – By Duane L. Martin

 Craig has had a pretty rough life.  First he (and his sister I think) are sexually abused by their father from the time they were children.  So what does he do?  He burns the house down in an attempt to kill them, which succeeds.  What he didn’t plan on however is that his sister was in the house when he did it, and he ended up putting her in a coma in the hospital, which is something he never intended.  He’s cleared by the police after insisting that he had nothing to do with it, but he’s still pretty mentally unbalanced and eventually, after generally taking life’s abuse for too long and getting even more mentally unbalanced, starts killing random people who’ve either treated him like crap or otherwise abused him.

Now for the review bit…

Craig, for me, was unfortunately an overly long and drawn out mess with various aspects of the plot that made little sense.

Now when I say overly long and drawn out, I mean the movie itself is around 101 minutes, but it could have very easily been cut down to a well edited 20 minute short and told the story a lot more concisely.  I say that because most of the film is filled with excessively long bits of nothing happening, (people walking around, extended scenes with no real dialogue, etc…)  Cutting it down to a well edited short would have made the story tight.  As it is, you could spend about 3/4 of the movie fast forwarding and not really miss anything.

There’s one character in the story that doesn’t make much sense either.  Craig’s friend has a wife and he’s been fighting with her constantly because she wants a baby and he just wants to go out and have fun all the time.  Craig has some very unbalanced conversations with the guy, where the guy does most of the talking, but the way it’s written and the way the guy plays it seems off.  You can’t tell if he’s pissed off or being a friend or mellow or happy or what.  The whole character seemed rather out of focus, and really pointless to the story other than to be the catalyst that gets Craig to a strip club, where he sees a stripper he would later kill.

Something else that didn’t make sense was the timeline of the abuse from the father, the fire, and the present time.  The guy is in his 30’s (I think), but he had only six months earlier set the house on fire.  Was he being abused all the way into his 30’s?  If it had stopped when he was a kid, why’d he wait so long to start the fire?  Something just didn’t make sense there, and the film picks up six months after the fire, so it’s not like he set it when he was young or anything.

There were some other small things that didn’t make sense as well.  Like, he was several times in the film called fat.  The guy wasn’t fat at all.  He was a normal sized, and generally normal looking guy.  There was nothing freakish about his appearance that should have drawn such ridicule.  Then there was the random killing of the stripper.  She didn’t do anything to him at all.  I’m still trying to figure out why he killed her.  One scene had him chasing this woman who was a total bitch to him at his work.  Early on she knocked him down and ran.  He just laid there for a bit and then casually got up before he started going after her.  For some reason, she ran into the showers, where he soon caught up with her and killer her, instead of just running out of the building like any intelligent person would have.

The acting in general in this film was just ok.  One thing that kind of threw me off however is that some of the actors had American accents and others had other (Danish?) accents, so I was never really sure where the film was supposed to be taking place.

On a technical level, the film was generally ok, but did have some problems that hindered it.  The photography was generally good, with some really nicely set up shots, but then you had these murder scenes, and some others, that were so dark that you couldn’t see anything that was going on.  I mean the screen almost literally goes black it’s so dark.  You can see bits here and there, and the sound is there (albeit quiet), so you know something’s happening, but you just can’t see it.  The editing kept the movie’s pace at a crawl and the sound and dialogue were often quiet and sometimes difficult to make out either because of the quietness or the accents or both.

I always applaud film makers for actually getting out there and working at their craft.  Making a feature length film is a difficult and time consuming process, and the work, if not the film itself should be praised, and while I do praise the work, I really do believe that this shouldn’t have been a feature length film at all because the content and story just weren’t there to make it so, and as such, I find myself in the sad position of saying that my recommendation would be to pass on this film.

If you’d like to find out more about the film, you can check out the film’s website at http://www.craigthemovie.com or the film’s MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/craigthemovie.