Have you ever watched a film wondering what’s happening or what the characters are running from because the plot is barely there but you keep watching because you’re fascinated of how far it can go? If you haven’t, give Crucified a try and test whose pain will endure: the characters or yours.
The end of the world is coming, or it already came— it’s hard to tell when the characters still think there’s hope left when every tall building’s been burned and the streets are deserted. Basically, it’s the scripted story of five strangers picked to live in a bunker and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real—The Real World: Post-Apocalyptic Italy!
Crucified is a crafty Italian film (with subtitles) that maintains the bizarre tradition of predecessors of Italian horror, the only thing that pulls different is it does everything backwards: it starts with pure not-so-gory action and pushes motives and explanations aside until the end while it introduces the characters you’ve seen running around for several minutes. Why are they running? I don’t think they even know the answer. Most of the film is very laughable, from the 2000s-looking visual effects to the forced acting from some members of the cast. There’s a couple of veterans in this that make you wonder how much they had to pull out of their past experience to bring their characters to life because they seem to have been given almost nothing to play them around. And credit to whom it’s deserved, in this case it’s for the director for the appreciable camera work— it’s polished.
Halfway through the film, part of the plot is finally revealed in the form of a news flash to, I’m guessing, give more time to the awesome planned action sequences coming ahead— I couldn’t be any more wrong than the cringe editing. Unless the action was intentionally replaced with more running around from the characters while their eyes look back and forth into each other probably asking what they’re doing. By the time it’s ready to wrap up, it only wraps itself into a sheet of plastic for the mess it’s about to create by pulling an “unpredictable twist” with pop culture elements that the viewer might not see coming and, at the same time, might not even ask for.
Not even the last action-filled 10 minutes can save it of being pointless and dull— most viewers could be gone by then while those who stick until the end might probably think “well, that was dumb” while they recognize an unintended tribute to one of the most memorable Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid Of The Dark? episodes: The Tale of the Midnight Madness (Season 2, Episode 2).
In another era, in another place, Crucified would be considered a cool B-movie but in 2021, when even some mainstream films are faked in the same style, it’s just another attempt, sort of entertaining but confusing as heck, in the wide genre of post-apocalyptic pandemic films.
4 OUT OF 10 NAILS