A group of friends make a bet to see who can survive camping on an island for a night. Unbeknownst to them, a strange creature lurks throughout the night terrorizing their every move, and sound is their biggest enemy.
The term “crypsis” refers to a phenomenon whereby an animal presents adaptations that make it go unnoticed to the senses of other animals; it may come in the form of camouflage or other adaptations. The opposite phenomenon, when the animal highlights a warning that it is not worth attacking or eating them, is called aposematism. Having this in mind, it makes you wonder why this film isn’t called Aposematism as a warning to avoid it if you don’t like bromances gone wrong.
Crypsis (2019) tells the story of a group of five “bros” that, even if they have reached adulthood, keep their conversations to a high school level. One day, inside a bar, where they have congregated to make fun of each other, specially calling on the still-virgin guy, they bet each other to spend a night on an island close to mainland and see who’s the strongest and manliest of them all. They all agree on doing so even having heard the legends of a mortal creature living on the island. On their way to their impending doom, the person taking the “bros” by boat tells them that they should only use camcorders to capture their challenges and manly feats, and they should leave their phones with him to make the bet more interesting. Being the butter-minds that they are, they all proceed with the suggestions, and arrive to the island. The rest of the film is almost pitch black meet-and-greets with the creature while they run around screaming and attracting it to their locations because, as I said, they have butter for brains.
Crypsis is the type of film that doesn’t make you root for the survival of any of the characters. Each one has a trait that doesn’t make them appealable for the audience; charmless villains. You can’t feel bad for what happens to them because it makes you agree that they had it coming. Besides, these are the worst kind of friends you could ever ask for since none of them ever bother to act up in defense of the others. While only one character tries to understand how the creature attacks, the others are there to scream louder than the next one even when it’s been understood that the creature is attracted to noise. The survival instincts of the characters are null, and it’s sad considering they were profiled from the beginning as virile roles.
The film starts with a sequence where a woman is running, trying to escape from the creature. After falling several times to the floor, and having the creature closer than ever, she is finally killed. It might sound mean but it was about time; it seemed to be getting nowhere. Later is revealed to be part of the unexpected plot twist but by the time it arrives you might dread it because that only means the film will keep going.
On a side note, the creature looks like the lovechild of a goblin with a crawler from The Descent. Which isn’t bad but the comparison is there. It never gives us the pleasure of watching it dismember the characters in a gory way to amend the time spent watching them spew repetitive lines. The most viewable action is the creature poking someone to death; it was one poke and over.
Crypsis could’ve run with another title. There are so many options for it like Being Loud in the Woods, or Running in the Dark, or The Five Stooges, or What To Expect When You’re Arguing, or Bros Before Blows To The Head, and the list could keep going. It’s such a shame that a sort of good concept got ruined by the greed of wanting to make a twisty horror film because in the end it only looks like a thirsty dry attempt for a thriller.