Thailand has been contributing to the horror genre for decades, significantly contributing inspiration for several films in the wave of Asian horror remakes coming from Hollywood in the early 2000s. Perhaps for that reason it should come as no surprise that the film Creepy Crawly (originally titled The One Hundred) is one the first horror movies to directly address the Covid pandemic within a narrative about a contagion let loose in a confined area. Unfortunately, while there is relevance in the societal context of the narrative, that does not make the quality of the filmmaking any more effective.
Although the concept for the narrative is apparently taken from a historical story told during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, it has been adopted to modern times by involving Covid-19. Set in a Thailand hotel, a group of guests with nowhere else to go are quarantined in the building during the pandemic. The hotel’s owner simply wants to capitalize on the situation, which is why he refuses to believe there may be a larger threat than Covid lurking amongst them in the form of a large creature.
The invading creature resembles a large centipede, while controlling smaller ones infesting the hotel, and has the ability to take over the bodies of humans. In some ways the film resembles John Carpenter’s The Thing or any iteration of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, though it gets increasingly ridiculous when the invading creature displays an ability to communicate and heal the human bodies it is occupying. This is all made even more absurd by the less-than-believable CGI effects to depict the creature. It also reaches new heights of silliness when the monster displays a desire to occupy the body of a specific hotel occupant.
Despite the simple premise, Creepy Crawly overcomplicates everything else about the narrative. There are too many characters, too complex motivations for the creature, and even a level of visual excess made worse by the sub-par special effects. In short, it starts strong and quickly devolves into a sloppy and silly mess of melodrama and unconvincing creature violence. While I think it is a good thing that more nations are being included in the horror genre, this is unlikely to be the film to bring Thailand into the fold.
The Blu-ray is about what you would expect from a film like this. The title has been changed to entice audiences and the cover art is an image of the creature not revealed until the final act, almost as if marketing tricks were the only way to promote the film. It may also explain why no effort has been made to provide special features on the disc.
Entertainment Value: 3.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 3/10
Historical Significance: 4/10
Special Features: 0/10