61 Days of Halloween- Crawlspace

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.


David Schmoeller on set with Klaus Kinski. (Empire Pictures)

Crawlspace is the kind of film that just misses. What is worse is that it wastes the talents of Klaus Kinski. He does as much as he can in a role that isn’t quite up to snuff for an actor of his caliber. The issue with the character ends up being one of the ones with the film. While the voice over is well written too much of what we know about our lead is learned through it, such that it renders more nebulous than necessary the one motif it leaves as mostly visual.

The set up is all well and good, to an extent. Things are little vague but you do get a quick kill and a sense of the mania that infests this man’s mind.

Although somewhat clumsily introduced the information we find and some of the scenes we watch are rather compelling. Particularly the confrontations with a man seeking justice for the death of his brother. Where things come apart for good are during the climax as there is a very awkward crawling chase through the ventilation system that takes far too long.

Aside from that the film spends an overwhelming amount of time with Kinski’s character, which is fine but there is not enough time spent with who we are supposed to root for at the end. Moreover, her one major appearance in the middle portion of the film, while intellectually accurate (maybe), doesn’t endear her to us. It’s a film that’s setting you up for a very macabre ending but then asks you to root for the same old, same old when it hasn’t really been earned.