I went monster hunting, so let’s see what I found.
Director Jared Cohn has a load of horror flicks under his belt, such asLittle Dead Rotting Hood, Hold Your Breath, The Horde, Devil’s Domain, Halloween Pussy Trap Kill! Kill!, and Devil’s Revenge. I liked some of them, so I thought maybe there was hope for this Tubi TV original movie. Most are calling it Crawl with a shark, but that’s not quite the case. Many don’t seem to realize that Crawl was really shark film Bait with alligators. So Swim owes its existence more to another shark film than an alligator film (that owes its existence to the same shark film).
Joey Lawrence is the “star” even though he’s barely in the film. He is heading to meet his family at their beach house, but a storm keeps holding him back. Meanwhile, mom, grandpa, daughter, and son get to the house. The acting is kind of awful, but I also have a feeling the cast may have had to re-record their dialogue at the beginning of the film because it feels really off, like an English dubbed foreign language movie.
The son and his girlfriend go swimming and are targeted by a horrible CGI shark. Immediately I couldn’t get past the fact that despite the film being called Swim, half the time when the characters are supposed to be swimming in deep water, it’s beyond obvious that they are just standing in shallow water until the moment they are supposed to swim.
The action is as typical as these films get. The ocean floods the land, the shark gets into the basement first, the family moves up to the main floor, and eventually the water rises to that level. And in all that time, with the ocean as its fish tank, the shark never leaves the vicinity of the house.
The funniest part is when grandpa tries to fight the shark with his cane after the main floor floods in front of some of the worst green screen ever.
Eventually, Joey shows up as a poor man’s Roy Schneider in Jaws 2. If you simply must see every horrible shark movie there is or just want to close out your summer with a shark film, then check it out for free on Tubi.
THE DEVIL BELOW (2021)
A group of researchers heads to a deserted town under which coal mines have been burning for years.
There are some signs from strangers that they should stay away from the place, but they find it anyway. There is a lot of talk and little else for a good part of the film until the group gets separated when some of them end up down in a hole.
There are fleeting hints of a monster (mostly during a night vision scene), but it’s not until 67 minutes in that we finally see what is living underground.
These creatures are pretty cool, and for about 15 minutes there’s some monster excitement. You decide if you want to sit through over an hour of forgettable film to get to it.
BEAST WITHIN (2020)
This simple indie horror takes a classic werewolf movie concept and gives it an update—people trapped in a mansion/castle are murdered one by one until they determine that one of them must be a werewolf.
In this situation, it’s a group gathered together for a launch party of a werewolf game app.
Much of the film is soap opera antics as characters clash and bicker over sex, love, money, and success. Meanwhile, someone occasionally makes the mistake of going outside alone and encountering the bloodthirsty werewolf.
Eventually they realize the game is coming to life and distrust mounts. Some believe the killer is a human, others think it’s actually a werewolf.
Thankfully, it’s a werewolf. The creature doesn’t get loads of screen time, but when it does, it’s a good old fashioned costume and not CGI.
And the actor playing the human version of the werewolf is perfect, and the boys are pretty.
NIGHT CLAWS (2012)
This one mixes good old 80s style monster suit horror with a touch of SyFy creature feature camp to deliver a pretty entertaining Bigfoot flick.
Even better, it starts with a couple having sex in a car and then getting torn limb from limb. Yay!
It also has a cast that just warms a GenXer’s horror heart. Reb Brown, who showed his hot ass in Sssssss, is now a daddy and plays the sheriff. His love interest and deputy was in Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight and the gay flick Play Dead. The pretty anthropologist that rolls into town in search of Bigfoot was Sharon Stone’s girlfriend in Basic Instinct. Another guy was in Surf Nazis Must Die. And another guy was in Killer Workout and Scarecrows. Even jerk-off Frank Stallone has a role.
The plot is typical. Sheriff wants to solve case, outsider scientist comes in to call the shots, various groups of people get attacked by Bigfoot to keep pace going, eventually a team is sent out to hunt creature.
It’s kind of silly, kind of cheesy, and delivers plenty of bloody body parts and full monster Monty. Sometimes that’s all I really need.