Obsession is definitely a word that’s pretty familiar when going through high school. Everyone and their mothers have been into someone who just didn’t give them or their hormones the time of day. Well, a hell of a lot of teenage hormones and some pretty interesting craziness take up director Malik Bader’s obsession gone wrong movie CRUSH, a film that starts out pretty strong, only to leave viewers with a great big wtf?
Popular soccer player Scott has pretty much everything going for him, until an accident leaves him with a bad knee and a bruised ego. While Scott tries to recover by working out, running and everything in between to get his knee better, Bess, a shy lonely girl begins an unhealthy obsession with him. Throw into the mix Jules, a girl who wants to be more than friends with Scott, Jeffrey, who is obsessed himself with Bess, and David, who is infatuated with Bess’s friend and fellow coworker Andie, and you’ve got one puree’ of a lovelorn film.
What gives CRUSH an interesting start, is that it really succeeds at allowing viewers to feel for Bess (played very well by Crystal Reed, CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. and TV’s Teen Wolf) as she becomes increasingly infatuated with Scott, which is definitely different than most films in the same vein. With Bess, you almost hope that she gets her man, because though somewhat obsessive and odd, she’s actually really endearing and likable. It’s an interesting touch, that works for the most part. As the film goes on, Bess tries harder and harder to get Scott’s attention, until things begin to get crazier all around, culminating in some pretty stalker-like behavior (breaking into Scott’s house, taking his phone and sending nudes of Jules to the whole school, etc).
While all of Bess’s seemingly weird behavior is going on, we’re introduced to more than the film’s share of subplots, featuring basically almost every character in the film pining away for someone else, which takes away from the central story at times. There’s way too much going on as the film heads into the end of the second act, and it hinders the overall feeling of the film. Instead of focusing on Bess and her obsession with Scott as much as it should, we then get a mystery, making viewers wonder who the actual stalker is. The film works best when it feels like a traditional film of this sort, but when the layers upon layers of mystery begin, it teeters on becoming a mess. Add one of the most unexpected twists towards the end of the film, and that teetering becomes a full on fiasco, leaving us with a big “are you serious?” outlook on the movie.
It’s unfortunate, because the first 75-80 minutes of the film are actually pretty entertaining, and the film does have some really good performances by Crystal Reed, Lucas Till (STOKER, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS), Caitriona Balfe(SUPER 8, the upcoming NOW YOU SEE ME), and Leigh Whannell (SAW, INSIDIOUS, DEATH SENTENCE). There really isn’t a bad apple in the bunch, but the performances are all wasted on an ending that seems almost like a slap to the face of the rest of the film.
CRUSH is available now on DVD/BLURAY via Millennium Entertainment.