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Crippled Creek (2005)

DVD Cover (S'more Entertainment)
Director:
Hans Hartman Hans Hartman
Starring:
A.J. McClain A.J. McClain
Ashley Totin Ashley Totin
Jennifer Jules Hart Jennifer Jules Hart
Graham Thompson Graham Thompson
Kevin Greene Kevin Greene

2.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Slasher Film, Supernatural Horror
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Review by Chad
Added: August 17, 2006
Although the makers of this film never claim that what you're watching is "genuine footage", I can't help but compare this movie to The Blair Witch Project. You see, this film is supposedly based on real events that happened up in a desolate patch of Connecticut woods back in 2004, and the film that you're watching is supposedly the story that Mady told the police when she was discovered wandering down the road, beaten and bloody. Of course, there's also a couple of reports that claim that everything found within this movie is fictional and was made up just to give the film some additional publicity. I'm leaning more towards the latter, but I have no clue as to what the actual truth is; as such, I'm going to review this movie as though it were purely a work of fiction.

The story, as it's told here, centers around a trio of young ladies who head off into the namesake woods for a weekend to themselves. The girls - Mady (Ashley Totin), Aubry (Jennifer Jules Hart), and Bambi (Evy Lutzky) - are warned about a cranky old hermit living out in these woods by the local forest ranger before they set off to Mady's grandfathers' cabin, but they pay no mind to his warnings. Instead, they do what any group of young women would do while out on their own in the middle of nowhere: they break out the booze and drugs while telling scary stories and corny jokes to one another. Hardly a thrilling movie thus far, but things get a bit more interesting when a couple of guys, Tom (Paul Logan) and Gary (Michael Dionne), show up and the obligatory premarital sex scenes kick in. As anyone who has watched a horror film or two can attest to, it doesn't take long before the bodies start to pile up at this point in the film, and the question arises as to who - or what - is responsible for the murders.

While I enjoyed the concept of this film as well as the storyline, I did find that the overall package suffered from some serious budget concerns. I'm a huge fan of independent cinema and I've seen both the good and the bad, and this one sort of falls into both categories. I enjoyed the storyline as mentioned, the grand revelation towards the end was pretty shocking, and for the most part, the storyline leading up to said revelation worked out nicely (well, once they got into the woods - the first fifteen minutes of the film needed some work, but that's beside the point). The acting abilities put forth by leading lady Ashley Totin were a notch above adequate; while I wouldn't hand her any awards for her character portrayal here, she was indeed a small step above average. These aspects of the film are what worked out in its favor.

The problems that I found with the film were most likely due to budget concerns, but I'm not going to entirely rule out common first-time director mistakes either. The audio side of the film is by far the worst of the problems. It's apparent that some of the dialogue wasn't recorded under the best of circumstances, and it's blatantly obvious that some lines were re-recorded after the scenes had been shot. Now, when I say that it's obvious, it's not because the spoken lines don't match up to the lip movements; the problem here is that select pieces of the dialogue are easy to make out while other pieces feature a hideous amount of static and background noise. This could almost be forgiven if the quality varied from scene to scene, but this mainly occurs from one character to the next; one character will speak and the audio will be perfect, and when the other character replies, you can't understand a word that he or she is saying. This is highly distracting at best, and at worst, it makes it so that you miss out on half of the entire conversation.

The audio side of things also suffers due to the constant usage of background music. A musical score would have been fine here; however, using obnoxious indie-pop as a backdrop to the scenes at hand does not work in a film like this. It takes any semblance of tension away from the scenes at hand, and when the music is playing over top of the conversations taking place on screen, well... that's never a good thing, to say the least. While I could at least guess that the dubbing problems were a result of budget concerns (better, i.e. more expensive, equipment would have solved that), this problem can only be a result of the inexperience of the director. I suppose that it's a good lesson to be learned for the man responsible, but for me as a viewer, there were times when it certainly didn't make watching the movie an enjoyable experience.

Overall, it'll be either a hit or a miss depending on how much you can forgive in terms of production quality. There's a very interesting storyline to be found here, but you do have to put up with a fair deal of production mistakes to get through that story. I did enjoy the film to an extent though, so I believe that a 6/10 is about right.
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Christopher #1: Christopher - added 08/23/2007, 05:08 PM
There was absolutely nothing good about this film. I can get past horrible acting and ignore terrible production. But this was just too much of too little. An hours worth of five people getting drunk, stoned and having sex. Then thirty minutes of running. Then we come to find out it's going to happen all over again with another group of folks. These horror films just get worse and worse as it becomes easier and easier for retards to make movies.
Sandi Chaplin #2: Sandi Chaplin - added 11/10/2009, 05:40 PM
Did NO ONE actually hear the so called "original score" for this movie? The only thing original about it was that it was "originally" written by Peter Gabriel for the movie, Last Temptation of Christ. The soundtrack is called Passion. It's amazing. This film is not... but it IS amazing that Patrick Keogh can blatantly steal another man's work and then put his own name on it.

The last temptation of Patrick Keogh... and he failed.
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