Crush is definitely the Swim_fan of the current “CW” generation of horrors. It’s a story that’s been seen again and again, whether in big screen adaptations such as The Roommate or made for teevee Lifetime over the top presentations, it’s a pretty worn out plot line. Luckily for Malik Bader and cast, they manage to breathe a little bit of fresh air into the horror trope and present an entertaining teen thriller.
The movie centers around Scott (Lucas Till, X-Men: First Class), an up and coming high school soccer star who is definitely catching the eye of numerous ladies in town. After an accident and surgery, Scott is training himself back up to speed when people around him start getting harassed, injured, and a number of other things that jump the scale of danger in every scene. Jules (Sarah Bolger, The Moth Diaries) is Scott’s best friend who has developed real feelings for him and Bess (Crystal Reed, Teen Wolf) is the new girl in town who has a full blown infatuation with Scott, a potentially dangerous one.
The movie works for two different reasons: it introduces new ideas to a worn out plot to freshen things up and it creates some legitimately creepy moments in context of the stalker. While we get the basic setup with Bess being obsessed with Scott, we also see that Bess has a psuedo-stalker of her own, Jeffrey (Reid Ewing), and is an employee of a woman who suffered from obessive tendencies of her own (Catriona Balfe, Super 8). Introducing these two characters spin a lot of normal cliches on their head as we are seeing not only the stalker from the “victims” POV but also in her own “victim” role.
Till and Reed play the role of cat and mouse to a tee, Reed being the socially awkward loner and Till as the athletic pretty boy. Bolger holds her own, definitely pulling through as the pretty girl next door, but Ewing shines as the incredibly socially inept Jeffrey, the nerd with a heart. Balfe, at times, over acts and sometimes her scenes end up pretty laughable. A few plot lines are left flapping in the wind, such as random Mommy issues that are introduced but never explored and a soccer rival who is little more than fodder for the stalker abuse.
Overall, it’s an entertaining flick. Bader does a solid job for his first real foray into directing and pulled together a strong and attractive cast to do so. Nothing is amazing but it’s rarely lacking either. Sure, the thrills are stunted because of the target audience, but it doesn’t stop Crush from being a worthy new addition to it’s sub genre.