Directed by Jesse Holland [Other horror films: YellowBrickRoad (2010), Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear (2013, segment ‘Listen’), We Go On (2016)]
Well, it’s not Syfy’s worst movie in the last five years, but it’s certainly not their best. Honestly, The Crooked Man is almost decent, and I like some aspects about it, but I’d rank it between the rather forgettable Karma and the decent-yet-flawed Stickman.
The origin of the Crooked Man is fine, but nothing special (given this is a Syfy original, I doubt that would come as much a surprise). It’s the design that I thought was more interesting. The hat is whatever, but the way the creature sort of glitches in and out, like some sort of corrupted computer program, was unique. It didn’t always look good, but it was passable, more so than most of the other special effects from the film.
My biggest issue here is that the kills were pathetic across the board. There was one solid scene of a character getting their head ripped off, but otherwise, I wasn’t impressed at all with the direction the kills went in, which ranged from broken bones to falling out of a window onto a car (which also includes some broken bones, now that I think of it) to being strangled. Just very little there to do anything for me.
Performance-wise, again, the movie’s passable. I find it laughable that Michael Jai White is on the cover of this movie, yet appears maybe a total of seven minutes in the film (and none of it is all that noteworthy), but Angelique Rivera and Cameron Jebo made an almost-acceptable couple. Rivera was pretty cute, and Jebo got a few funny lines in, so despite some character faults, I generally liked the pair. Though she didn’t appear a whole lot (though still more than White), Reilly Brooke Stith was decent also.
Overall, though, The Crooked Man is just barely decent. Like I said, it’s not near as forgettable as Syfy’s Karma, nor near as terrible as Dead in the Water. But it’s not even close to being as good as Neverknock or House of the Witch, and even a below average movie like Stickman beats it out. The Crooked Man isn’t that good, and some issues with the ending come into play. For a Syfy movie, you certainly could do much worse, but overall, I’d only go out of my way to see this once.
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